Legal Business

Signature Litigation: Legal privilege: far from resolved

Abdulali Jiwaji

Partner, Signature Litigation

abdulali.jiwaji@signaturelitigation.com

Daniel Hayward-Hughes

Associate, Signature Litigation

daniel.hayward-hughes@signaturelitigation.com

The right of clients to preserve the confidentiality in advice provided by their lawyer is fundamental to English common law. Other common law jurisdictions such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong have all gone one step further than England by entrenching legal advice privilege and protection from disclosure into statute. Legal advice privilege applies to confidential communications between a lawyer and client for the purpose of seeking or obtaining legal advice. Problems can arise though when it is unclear who the instructing client is and whether the lawyer is actually a ‘lawyer’ for the purposes of the common law test for privilege.