Often, when Chinese lawyers deal with foreign-related cases they see the term "attorney-client privilege" in the foreign lawyer issued legal opinions and memorandums. Furthermore, many foreign lawyers would like to know if their communication with the Chinese lawyers they work with is provided the same amount of protection as their communication with their clients.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines attorney-client privilege as a client’s right to refuse to disclose, and to prevent anyone else from disclosing, confidential communications between him or her and his or her attorney. This privilege prevents attorneys from disclosing their communications with their clients. Furthermore, this protection prevents any other party, including, the attorney from using any information that could be considered "attorney-client privilege" as evidence in a litigation. However, there are exceptions. For example, an attorney has a duty to disclose privileged information if the disclosure is related to criminal activities. The attorney-client privilege was established to encourage honest communication between an attorney and his or her clients. This opportunity for honest communication will reduce the chance that a client will intentionally or unintentionally engage in an illegal activity due to ineffective communication with his or her attorney.

Gui Hongxia and  Li Xiang of King & Wood’s Dispute Resolution Group

Continue Reading Attorney-client Privilege: Extended to Foreign Lawyers in China?