Barristers, advocates and solicitors
Note that the provisions contained in TMA 1970, s 20B and described below were repealed by with effect from 1 April 2013, but does not affect notices issued before that date. Finance Act 2008 enacted HMRC's view of legal and professional privilege1 with effect from 1 April 2009. It sets out the privilege position as it applies to auditors, restating the previous position in TMA 1970, s 20B(9), but does not provide parallel protection for the advice of tax advisers or tax accountants in the hands of a taxpayer. The provisions also define both 'tax adviser' and 'relevant communications' which may be the subject of privilege. For detailed commentary, see A6.614.
A barrister, advocate or solicitor cannot be required to deliver or make available, without his client's consent, documents in respect of which he could maintain a claim for professional privilege2.
In ex p Goldberg3, it was held in the High Court that copies of documents were protected by professional privilege, where the copies were made only for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, even though the originals would not have been protected. However, that principle was overruled by the Court of Appeal in Dubai Bank4. In that case it was held that a copy of a document was not privileged merely because it was made for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, although if the original document would be privileged the copy is also privileged.
For legal professional privilege to apply to legal advice