David McArdle & Jon Quirk

We regularly receive requests from third parties for copies of a professional’s file.  These requests are often “fishing expeditions”, as a potential claimant seeks to build a claim against professional or the professional’s client.  Resisting such requests, where reasonable to do so, is usually the right tactic.  Whilst requests for disclosure of an accountant’s file, for example, may be vulnerable to a Court order requiring disclosure, a legal professional’s file is different.   The Court of Appeal has reaffirmed that a legal professional has a duty to assert privilege over their client’s documents and solicitors are entitled to resist disclosure of those documents unless there is an express waiver of that privilege (or the Court concludes that the legal advice was given for the purposes of furthering a criminal act).
Here David McArdle and Jon Quirk discuss the case in more details and provide some practical implications to be considered when acting for legal professionals and their insurers.

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