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PRIVILEGE: A privileged upbringing

05 April 2013  

Joanna Ludlam and Fiona Lockhart examine the likely impact of the Prudential judgment

In a much anticipated judgment, the Supreme Court has confirmed that legal advice privilege (LAP) will not extend to legal advice given by non-lawyers. It has long been the case that a client is not obliged to produce, either to the courts or third parties, any confidential communications between them and their lawyer that have come into existence for the purpose of giving or receiving legal advice. Although Prudential plc v Special Commissioner of Income Tax [2013] confirms that LAP will only apply as between client and lawyer, the judgment leaves the door open for Parliament to consider whether to extend LAP to circumstances where legal advice is sought from a non-legal professional. This article considers whether the time is ripe for such legislative input or whether the historic common law principles preserved by the judgment remain fit for purpose.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Akzo Nobel Chemicals & anor v Commission & ors (Competition) [2010] EUECJ C-550/07_O

    Greenough v Gaskell [1833] (1833) 39 ER 618

    R (Prudential plc & anor) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax & anor [2013] UKSC 1

    Three Rivers District Council and others v Governor and Company of the Bank of England (no. 6) [2004] UKHL 48

    Winterthur Swiss Insurance Company & anor v AG (Manchester) Ltd & ors Rev 1 [2006] EWHC 839 (Comm)