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Is your legal advice disclosable in court?

10 Jun

You may or may not have heard of the term ‘Legal Professional Privilege’ (LPP). Put simply, LPP protects communications between clients and their lawyers/legal advisers from being disclosed, even in court.

There are two forms of LPP, litigation privilege and advice privilege. In short, the difference between the two comes down to whether the legal advice is being sought for proposed/contemplated legal action commencing, or not. If there is a genuine belief that legal action will commence, the legal advice obtained could be covered under litigation privilege. If there isn’t a genuine belief of impending legal action, the legal advice could be covered under legal advice privilege.

Only communications that have the purpose of seeking legal advice may benefit from non-disclosure at court. Additionally, the legal advice obtained must also have been provided from a person qualifying as a ‘lawyer’ or ‘legal adviser’, such as a solicitor with a practising certificate or a member of the bar or law society.

Effectively, this means that clients who seek legal advice from professionals that do not qualify as ‘lawyers’ or ‘legal advisers’ for the purposes of LPP will not be able to rely on the legal advice being protected by Legal Professional Privilege. Subsequently, an employment tribunal will be able to view and take into account any copies of communications between the client and the adviser during any court proceedings.

At Thomas Carroll, each of our Legal Professionals in our Employment Law department qualify as ‘lawyers/legal advisers’ for the purposes of LPP when providing legal advice to clients. Our specialist legal advice aims to impart fair and honest legal expertise to provide maximum protection for our clients.

For more information, please email employment@thomas-carroll.co.uk or call our Employment Law team on 02920 853794.