Privilege—joint and common interest privilege
Privilege—joint and common interest privilege

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

  • Privilege—joint and common interest privilege
  • When is joint privilege or common interest privilege relevant?
  • Joint retainer privilege
  • Joint interest privilege
  • Joint privilege—loss or waiver
  • Common interest privilege
  • Common interest privilege—waiver

This Practice Note considers the concepts of joint privilege (being joint retainer or joint interest privilege) and common interest privilege, including where they are relevant, how they arise, their key features, how they operate, examples and how they can be waived.

For more information on:

  1. the general principles of privilege—see Practice Note: Privilege—general principles, which considers the general principles, meaning and rationale behind privilege

  2. the general loss and waiver of privilege—see Practice Note: Privilege—loss or waiver of privilege, which looks at the different ways in which privilege can be lost or waived in the context of legal professional privilege (LPP)

When is joint privilege or common interest privilege relevant?

Joint or common interest privilege may arise where multiple parties have a right to assert privilege in the same documents. The circumstances of such privilege may vary.

Joint privilege occurs where multiple parties have a joint retainer or joint interest in advice, for instance, where a company seeks advice on a matter in which the directors have an interest (as defined in Ford). Joint privilege may be asserted to enable a party to gain access to privileged information held by another party—see further below.

Common interest privilege may arise in respect of communications between parties sharing the same interest, even in circumstances where there is no joint privilege, for example, neighbours complaining of a