Privilege in pensions
Produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers
Privilege in pensions

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Privilege in pensions
  • When is privilege relevant?
  • What is privilege and what is its purpose?
  • When is Professional Legal Privilege lost?
  • Privilege before the court
  • Privilege before the Pensions Ombudsman
  • Disclosure to the Pensions Regulator

When is privilege relevant?

Privilege is the fundamental human right long established by common law to withhold/resist/object to the compulsory giving of information or production of a document to another person. Questions of privilege thus frequently arise when disputes are brought before the Court or the Pensions Ombudsman, as privilege is one of the grounds on which a document, although disclosable, may nevertheless be excluded from the usual inspection process under CPR Part 31 (in the case of Court proceedings) or production before the Ombudsman. It thus, as a rule of evidence, acts to prevent such material from being given in evidence and/or to prevent a witness being required to answer questions on it.

It is also a rule of substantive law beyond civil proceedings to object to any demand for privileged material. In non-litigious contexts, questions of privilege will arise, inter alia, under the Pensions Act 2004 (PeA 2004) by virtue of s 311 of that Act, which excludes privileged communications from duties of disclosure to the Pensions Regulator.

What is privilege and what is its purpose?

The term 'Privilege' is an umbrella term covering a number of different rights. This Practice Note is concerned with one such right, namely Legal Professional Privilege. This is generally the right not to be required to produce material which would reveal