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Disclosure & Legal Professional Privilege

Introduction

The majority of civil court cases in England and Wales are subject to the rules of standard disclosure, which are set out by the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR). Under the CPR, each party may be required to collect and review potentially relevant documents and then state to the other parties, the disclosable documents which exist. If a document has been disclosed to a party in accordance with the CPR, that party has the right to inspect it.

Legal professional privilege often entitles a party to refuse to disclose some of their confidential communications. Privilege applies to advice given by lawyers provided that they act in their capacity as a lawyer. Privilege does not usually apply to other professionals who give legal advice, such as accountants or Chartered Secretaries!

There are two forms of legal professional privilege:

  1. Legal advice privilege protects confidential communications between lawyers and their clients for the purposes of giving or obtaining legal advice.

  2. Litigation privilege protects confidential communications between lawyers, clients and third parties made for the purposes of litigation.

Some thoughts

If you are in a dispute with another party, be careful what you put in writing. If you are exchanging emails or other correspondence with colleagues and/or professionals who are not lawyers (particularly where you are evaluating the chances of success in court), you may be required to disclose such exchanges.

Contact Richard Jenkins on 07837 762705 or Richard@clariclegal.co.uk for further advice or assistance.

This should not be relied upon for legal advice.

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