- Waiving privilege through freedom of information request (Hallows v Wilson Barca)
- Practical implications
- The claim
- Was it a privileged communication?
- Had the litigation privilege been lost?
- Possible relief
- Court details
Dispute Resolution analysis: The Chancery Division has held that where information is held by a local authority, any privilege attached to it may be at risk of being impliedly waived due to the authority’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FIA 2000). If advice is sought from a public body such as a local authority and it is not put on notice that the advice is sought for the purposes of litigation (and is therefore prima facie privileged), the information must be considered to be in the public domain and at risk of being disclosed. In this case, although the information in question did attract privilege, the exchange with the local authority took place on a false premise which, although legitimately deployed, meant the local authority was not aware of the privileged status of the advice. As such the privilege was deemed to have been impliedly waived.
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