Legal & Professional Priviledge

As Lord Sumption makes clear in his dissenting judgment – the law in relation to privilege – ‘is that legal professional privilege attaches to any communication between a client and his legal adviser which is made (i) for the purpose of enabling the adviser to give or the client to receive legal advice, (ii) in the course of a professional relationship, and (iii) in the exercise by the adviser of a profession which has as an ordinary part of its function the giving of skilled legal advice on the subject in question. The privilege is a substantive right of the client …’

Thus far there is no argument save that the majority of the Supreme Court did not agree that it should be extended so as to apply to legal advice given by someone other than a member of the legal profession.

R (on the application of Prudential plc and another) (Appellants) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax and another (Respondents) [2013] UKSC 1 – judgment on the scope of legal advice privilege.

By a majority of 5:2 (Lords Clarke and Sumption dissenting) the Supreme Court held: Legal and Professional privilege that would cover advice given by a qualified lawyer does not extend to advice – even if identical in nature – provided by another professional who was not a qualified lawyer.

Judgment Per Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury – President of the UK Supreme Court and NPJ of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.