Legal Professional Privilege

Does Legal Professional Privilege apply to me?

Solicitors, Barristers and Chartered Legal Executives are subject to Legal Professional Privilege.

In the case of Prudential PLC and Prudential (Gibraltar) Ltd v Special Commissioner of Income Tax and Philip Pandolfo (HM Inspector of Taxes) [2013] UKSC1 legal professional privilege applies to ‘communications in connection with advice given by members of the legal profession, which includes members of the Bar, the Law Society, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and foreign lawyers’.

This privilege extends to their non-qualified employees including secretaries, clerks, trainee solicitors, pupils or paralegals acting under the direction of a lawyer.

s190 (1) Legal Services Act 2007 applies to individuals who are not solicitors or barrister, this section will apply to Chartered Legal Executives who have practice rights.  

LPP applies to in-house lawyers the same, however care should be taken to distinguish clearly between advice which is legal, and advice which is commercial in nature. This is because commercial advice does not attract LPP.

Please see our section on Confidentiality for more information.

What is Legal Professional Privilege (LPP)

Legal Professional Privilege is the right which attaches to certain types of confidential communication. This prevents such communication between lawyers and their clients from being disclosed, even in court. LPP comprises of legal advice privilege and litigation privilege.

Legal advice privilege protects confidential communication, written or oral, between a lawyer and client from being disclosed. This is if the communication is for the purpose of seeking and receiving legal advice. 

Litigation privilege protects confidential communication, written or oral, between a lawyer, client and third party from being disclosed. The communication must be for the dominant purpose of obtaining legal advice, evidence or information in preparation for contemplated or actual litigation. This therefore excludes fact finding inquires and investigations.

Please see our section on Confidentiality for more information.

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