Q&As

In what circumstances would a privileged witness statement lose its privileged status?

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Published on LexisPSL on 26/06/2017

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In what circumstances would a privileged witness statement lose its privileged status?
  • Privilege
  • Legal professional privilege
  • Legal advice privilege
  • Litigation privilege
  • Can privilege be asserted over the witness statement?
  • How long does privilege last?
  • How do I withhold inspection on the grounds of privilege?

In what circumstances would a privileged witness statement lose its privileged status?

Privilege

In English law, special protection is afforded to communications between lawyers (and, in certain circumstances, third parties) and their clients. This special protection, enabling a client to retain confidentiality in relation to certain communications, tends to be known as 'legal professional privilege' (LPP). LPP is an umbrella term which encompasses:

  1. legal advice privilege, and

  2. litigation privilege

For more information, see Practice Note: Privilege—general principles.

Legal professional privilege

Legal advice privilege

Legal advice privilege protects from inspection:

  1. confidential

  2. communications

  3. between A (the client or internal agent) and B (the professional legal adviser or in-house lawyer)

  4. for the sole or dominant purpose of giving or obtaining

  5. legal advice or assistance on A’s rights and liabilities and what should prudently and sensibly be done in the relevant legal context

For more information, see Practice Note: Legal professional privilege in civil proceedings.

Litigation privilege

Litigation privilege protects from inspection:

  1. confidential communications (whether oral or written) between A (the client) and B (professional legal adviser) or B and C (third party) or A and C, or other documents created by or on behalf of A or B

  2. where litigation is existing, pending or reasonably contemplated, and

  3. where the dominant legal purpose of the communication is for obtaining advice or information in connection with that litigation or for assisting in the litigation itself

For further guidance, see

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