Duty of Candour

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In a company, the Duty of Candour requires that management and the board inform shareholders of all information that is important to their evaluation of the company and its management. The company’s management is required in the first instance to provide accurate and timely information to shareholders, and the board is expected to oversee this process. In the absence of direct knowledge of wrongdoing, the board is permitted to rely on management assurances that the information is complete and accurate. See “Fiduciary Duty.” In legal services, the Duty of Candour extends also to disclosures made to the court. In Citizens UK v secretary of state for the home department, the Court of Appeal said the UK government ‘misled’ the High Court in a dispute over its decision to refuse unaccompanied child refugees in Calais the right to join their families, and the Law Society subsequently warned that lawyers should remember that a duty of candour in litigation is of ‘paramount importance.’

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The Law Society Gazette: Lawyers warned to uphold 'duty of candour' in court