Legal Professional Privilege (“LPP”)

March 5th, 2020 by James Goudie KC

In Addlesee v Dentons Europe [2020] EWHC 238 (Ch) concerns the iniquity exception to LPP. The applicable legal principles were summarised (paragraphs 28-35 inclusive) as follows:-

(1)       LPP does not attach to communications between lawyer and client if the lawyer is instructed for the purpose of furthering crime, fraud or iniquity;

(2)       Instructions given for such a purpose fall outside the ordinary scope of a lawyer/client relationship, and are an abuse of that relationship;

(3)       This exception from LPP may apply equally to communications after the wrongdoing itself, where the lawyer is still instructed for the purpose of furthering the wrongdoing, for example by concealing the wrongdoing or its proceeds;

(4)       The exception applies whether or not the solicitor is aware of the wrongful purpose; and

(5)       The exception applies where the client is unaware of the wrongful purpose, if the client is being used as an unwitting tool or mechanism by a third party to further the third party’s fraud.

The Court addressed issues as to the burden and standard of proof.

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