Our moral code aims above all to defend our client’s interests. The client places his trust in us, and it is our wish to merit this trust at all times.
Obviously, as lawyers, we are obliged to respect the law, even if we may sometimes perceive the law as absurd, unfair or even downright villainous.
To defend our clients, it is essential that we are in possession of all the relevant information regarding their situation. That is why we have professional secrecy. This secrecy is indispensable to every action a lawyer takes, whether in consultation or in conducting a legal defence.
The law preventing moneylaundering obliges certain persons under certain circumstances to submit “declarations of suspicion” to the authorities if there are grounds for suspicion that such laundering activities are taking place. These rules must be observed by banks and other financial institutions.
Lawyers are never bound by similar obligations, as the information communicated to them is intended solely for their assessment of the legal position of a client in order to provide him with advice or to speak in his defence in court.
We would never agree to be forced to breach our professional secrecy, and that is why, before embarking upon any other discussions, we always start by analysing a client’s legal standing; after all, for a lawyer this is a logical place to start.
Confidentiality and legality
Everybody who consults us may rest assured that, there is no risk whatsoever in this context that we shall reveal any secrets that they have entrusted to us. If it turns out that what they are asking us to do would not be in conformity with the law, we will simply not do it. We will inform him that his proposed intentions are against the law and we will refuse to have anything to do with them. Having said that, we shall not divulge anything of what he intended to do. As far as possible, we will suggest alternative solutions for attaining some or all of his objectives, but always staying on the side of legality. In any event, the matter will be kept secret from that time on, and the law will still be observed.