In-House Counsel and Privileged Communications in Vietnam
In-house counsel straddle the worlds of business and law. Particularly good balance is needed when it comes to issues of confidentiality. The unique characteristics of the attorney-client privilege in Vietnam make the tightrope act even more delicate.
Vietnam’s Law on Lawyers provides a right of confidentiality between an attorney and her client. Of some interest to in-house counsel, Vietnam’s privilege does not distinguish between legal and non-legal communications, that is, non-legal communications are also protected. While the language of the privilege is clear, the privilege itself is weak–even in some civil matters. Vietnamese criminal law actually requires attorneys to disclose client information to government authorities when certain criminal acts are involved.
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