October 7, 2011
Decision upholds solicitor-client privilege
This just in from the Canadian Bar Association. A very important decision for preserving the confidential nature of lawyer-client communications:
In a September 2011 decision, the B.C. Supreme Court held that provisions of the federal Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and related regulations are constitutionally invalid to the extent that they apply to legal counsel and law firms. At issue was a government proposal to require lawyers to collect and maintain records on the identity of their clients when acting as financial intermediaries on behalf of clients.
The Federation of Law Societies of Canada challenged the government proposal and CBA intervened. The decision underscores the importance of solicitor-client privilege and confidence in our system of justice. It also serves to strengthen the role of self-regulation, recognizing that law societies are best situated to regulate the conduct of lawyers because they can do so in the public interest, while at the same time maintaining protections for solicitor-client privilege.
The CBA wasrepresented on a pro bonobasis by Ron Skolrood of Lawson Lundell LLP.