The right balance

Ruth Cook explains the points to consider in order to properly weigh up the risks associated with disclosing information to third parties

There are a number of situations in which a practitioner may be asked either to release information to a third party or to give consent for their client to do so. Their first impulse, especially if the request comes from a current client, is to want to be helpful and provide the information or consent to its disclosure as quickly and efficiently as possible.

However, in order to manage risk, it is almost always essential to seek some basic information about the request and the intended recipient(s) and weigh up the risks. Having done so, a decision can be made as to whether those risks can be / how they should be managed using the tools available.