Legal Advice in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Balabel v Air India
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 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.

  • Three Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of the Bank of England (No 9)
    • House of Lords
    • 11 Nov 2004

    But the dicta to which I have referred all have in common the idea that it is necessary in our society, a society in which the restraining and controlling framework is built upon a belief in the rule of law, that communications between clients and lawyers, whereby the clients are hoping for the assistance of the lawyers' legal skills in the management of their (the clients') affairs, should be secure against the possibility of any scrutiny from others, whether the police, the executive, business competitors, inquisitive busy-bodies or anyone else (see also paras. 15.8 to 15.10 of Adrian Zuckerman's Civil Procedure where the author refers to the rationale underlying legal advice privilege as "the rule of law rationale").

    In cases of doubt the judge called upon to make the decision should ask whether the advice relates to the rights, liabilities, obligations or remedies of the client either under private law or under public law. If it does not, then, in my opinion, legal advice privilege would not apply. If it does so relate then, in my opinion, the judge should ask himself whether the communication falls within the policy underlying the justification for legal advice privilege in our law.

  • Edgar v Edgar
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 23 Jul 1980

    Important too is the general proposition that, formal agreements, properly and fairly arrived at with competent legal advice, should not be displaced unless there are good and substantial grounds for concluding that an injustice will be done by holding the parties to the terms of their agreement.

  • R v Derby Magistrates' Court, ex parte B
    • House of Lords
    • 22 Jun 1995

    It is a fundamental condition on which the administration of justice as a whole rests. It is a fundamental condition on which the administration of justice as a whole rests. Legal professional privilege is thus much more than an ordinary rule of evidence, limited in its application to the facts of a particular case. Legal professional privilege is thus much more than an ordinary rule of evidence, limited in its application to the facts of a particular case.

  • Halford v Brookes and Another
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 26 Nov 1990

    In this context "knowledge" clearly does not mean "know for certain and beyond possibility of contradiction". It does, however, mean "know with sufficient confidence to justify embarking on the preliminaries to the issue of a writ, such as submitting a claim to the proposed defendant, taking legal and other advice and collecting evidence".

  • Ventouris v Mountain
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 08 Feb 1991

    The courts must not in any way encroach on the right of a litigant or potential litigant to seek and obtain legal advice on his prospects and the conduct of proceedings under the seal of confidence nor on the right of such a litigant and his legal adviser to prepare for and conduct his case without, directly or indirectly, revealing the effect of that advice.

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