Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

19.

Non-disclosure of confidential information

19.  (1) Save as otherwise provided by law, and subject to subsection (3), a person shall not, without the consent in writing of the Authority, disclose confidential information obtained by that person while performing, or as a result of having performed, functions as—

(a) a member of the Authority or a committee,

(b) the chief executive,

(c) a member of the staff of the Authority,

(d) a consultant or adviser or an employee of a consultant or adviser appointed by the Authority under section 17 , or

(e) an inspector appointed under section 37 .

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a class A fine.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) shall prevent the disclosure of information—

(a) to the Authority,

(b) which, in the opinion of a person referred to in that subsection, may relate to the commission of an indictable offence to—

(i) the Director of Corporate Enforcement,

(ii) the Competition Authority,

(iii) a member of the Garda Síochána,

(iv) an officer of the Revenue Commissioners,

(v) the Central Bank of Ireland, or

(vi) such other person as may be prescribed after consultation by the Minister with any other Minister of the Government appearing to the Minister to be concerned.

(4) If information disclosed in accordance with this section is subject to legal professional privilege, that information may not be used by the persons to whom the information is disclosed as against the client in respect of whom the privilege is vested.

(5) Where any question arises as to whether information is or is not subject to legal professional privilege, or the use to which such information may be put, the client of the legal practitioner asserting such privilege may apply to the High Court for the determination of any matter relating to such information and the use to which such information may be put and the Court may make such orders as it considers appropriate in determining the matter before it.

(6) Nothing in subsection (1) shall prevent the disclosure of information by a person in the circumstances referred to in section 35(2) of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995.

(7) In this section, “confidential information” includes information that is expressed by the Authority or a committee to be confidential either as regards particular information or as regards information of a particular class or description.