Confidentiality of lawyers’ consultations: Assembly adopts second bill

This is a hot topic for lawyers. While last year on February 14 Senate accepted a draft law on the confidentiality of consultations of corporate lawyerswhich was introduced by Senator Louis Vogel and forwarded to the National Assembly, which had just passed another bill on the same subject.

Definition of legal advice

Thus, on April 30, the Chamber voted to accept the draft law proposed by MP Renaissance Jean Terlier, also concerning the confidentiality of consultations of corporate lawyers. As a reminder, this principle, also called “French legal privilege”aims to guarantee the confidentiality of documents issued by corporate lawyers that contain confidential and sensitive information in the event of an investigation by foreign authorities (in particular the US Department of Justice (DOJ)).

Terlier’s proposal defines consultations subject to confidentiality as “a personalized intellectual service aimed at providing an opinion or advice based on the application of the rule of law”. The proposal also provides for this “these consultations bear the mention “confidential – legal consultations – corporate lawyer” and as such are subject to the identification of the editor and special inclusion in the files of the company and, if applicable, in the files of the member of the company of the group that is the recipient of said consultations”.

Ethical rules training

The measure also specifies that the corporate lawyer justifies the completion of training on ethical rules, established by the framework defined by the joint decree of the Minister of Justice and the Minister responsible for the economy, adopted at the proposal of the commission, whose composition and operation of the method are determined by decree. It is no longer a question of training in ethics, as the text presented by Louis Vogel suggests.

The text, which was submitted to the Senate on May 2, must now be discussed in public.

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