Communications in UK Law

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Leading Cases
  • Minter v Priest
    • House of Lords
    • 20 Mar 1930

    I think it is best expressed in two phrases used in the Court of Appeal in the leading case of O'Shea v. Wood, 1891, P. 286. Lindley L.J., at p. 289, adopts the language of Cotton L.J. in Gardner v. Irvin, 4 Ex. D. 49 (1879), "professional communications of a confidential character for the purpose of getting legal advice."

  • Balabel v Air India
    • Court of Appeal
    • 16 Mar 1988

    Where information is passed by the solicitor or client to the other as part of the continuum aimed at keeping both informed so that advice may be sought and given as required, privilege will attach. Moreover, legal advice is not confined to telling the client the law; it must include advice as to what should prudently and sensibly be done in the relevant legal context.

  • Kearns v General Council of the Bar
    • Court of Appeal
    • 17 Mar 2003

    To my mind an altogether more helpful categorisation is to be found by distinguishing between on the one hand cases where the communicator and the communicatee are in an existing and established relationship (irrespective of whether within that relationship the communications between them relate to reciprocal interests or reciprocal duties or a mixture of both) and on the other hand cases where no such relationship has been established and the communication is between strangers (or at any rate is volunteered otherwise than by reference to their relationship).

  • Kearns v General Council of the Bar
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 26 Jul 2002

    In those cases, one does not need to assess the interest of society afresh in each case. In this area the law was thought to be settled, on the basis that the balance would fairly be struck if liability in such situations was confined to those cases where the occasion of communication was abused—in the sense that malice could be established. Nothing short of malice would undermine the law's protection.

  • Morgans v Director of Public Prosecution (pet. all.)
    • House of Lords
    • 17 Feb 2000

    The most striking point, to which Mr. Blackman for the appellant attached much importance in the course of his helpful and succinct argument, is the anomaly which would be created if material which had been obtained by means of interceptions without a warrant were to be held to be available to the prosecutor as admissible evidence.

    But, in the context of the Act as a whole, the prohibitions which it contains lead inexorably to that result. So I would hold that it has that effect by necessary implication.

  • The RBS Rights Issue Litigation
    • Chancery Division
    • 08 Dec 2016

    But, especially given the clear direction of the House of Lords (in Three Rivers No 6) and as Simon J also noted in the Rabobank case, there can be no real doubt as to the present state of the law in this context in England: Three Rivers (No 5) confines legal advice privilege to communications between lawyer and client, and the fact that an employee may be authorised to communicate with the corporation's lawyer does not constitute that employee the client or a recognised emanation of the client.

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