Legal professional privilege in civil proceedings

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Legal professional privilege in civil proceedings
  • Legal advice privilege
  • Litigation privilege
  • Internal investigations
  • How do you know if a communication is privileged?
  • Privilege—confidential communications
  • Confidential
  • Communications
  • Legal advice privilege—client
  • Legal advice privilege—professional legal adviser or in-house lawyer
  • More...

Legal professional privilege in civil proceedings

This Practice Note considers legal professional privilege (LPP), which is made up of legal advice privilege and litigation privilege. It considers the various criteria for both types of LPP including confidentiality of communications, the dominant purpose and legal context of the communications over which privilege is being asserted and to whom the communication has been copied. It looks at the meaning, for the purposes of asserting privilege, of client, legal adviser, legal advice and anticipated litigation. It addresses the various exceptions to privilege (ie circumstances in which privilege will not arise) including the iniquity exception (in circumstances of fraud or crime), where statute overrides privilege, etc. The position on copy documents, collated, selected and extracted documents and translations is also considered. Finally, practical tips on LPP and privilege generally are offered.

Legal professional privilege (LPP) (which is often referred to simply as ‘privilege’ in this Practice Note) is an umbrella term encompassing legal advice privilege and litigation privilege.

For information on the general principles associated with privilege including the rationale for those principles and the advantage of being able to assert privilege, see Practice Note: Privilege—general principles.

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

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