Legal Advice Privilege

Book your free initial call

    We endeavour to make an initial response to all enquiries within 24 hours but please be aware that on some occasions due to prior commitments or volume of calls we will not be able to respond in that time frame. We also operate a 48 hour return policy. This return policy means that if we have not responded with 48 hours of your initial enquiry we are unable to do so due to current workloads and we will destroy your data accordingly. This policy ensures you are not left waiting and have the certainty that your data is not compromised. In most instances however we are able to make contact within a 24 hour time frame. Please note our free initial advice service is available to clients at our total discretion and if your case is of a complex nature we may not be able to offer you a free consultation. However in these instances we will advise you what the charge would be for an initial fixed fee consultation.
  • (view our privacy statement)
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Supreme Court has recently decided that legal advice privilege (in England and Wales) does not extend beyond the legal professions of Solicitor, Barrister and Chartered Legal Executive (and their foreign equivalents) in R (on the application of Prudential plc) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax.

Prudential obtained legal advice from their accountants in relation to a tax avoidance scheme and claimed legal advice privilege in this regard. The Court held that the principle of legal advice privilege should retain its traditional boundaries and therefore would not be available in this particular case. This is significant because it means that only legal advice given by solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives to their clients will be protected by privilege where the subject matter of that advice is unconnected with litigation. Such protection is not afforded to legal advice coming from any other profession or between, for example, work colleagues not in these professions.

In other words, all communications (whether written or oral) between persons where:-

  1. one or other of them is not a Solicitor, Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive (for example two Managers at work or a Manager and an HR Manager (internal or external)); and
  2. legal proceedings are not pending or contemplated (thus attracting litigation privilege);

do not attract legal advice privilege and therefore, where relevant, would need to be disclosed to a Tribunal or County Court pursuant to a standard Order for disclosure.

Written by Edward Aston 11th March 2013