05 July 2010 #Employment
Advice passing from solicitor to client regarding the proceedings of a case is generally protected under litigation privilege and/or legal privilege and therefore does not have to be disclosed.
However is the same protection afforded, if advice has been sought from a non-legal professional?
The case of Scotthorne -v- Four Seasons Conservatories (UK) Ltd held that advice given by non-lawyers (employment consultants) regarding the process on how to deal with an alleged act of gross misconduct by following a disciplinary procedure was subject to litigation privilege. The main purpose of seeking the advice was litigation, therefore it did not matter whether the consultants were legally qualified or not.
It would have been more difficult to claim legal advice privilege for advice sought in the early stages, but in this case it was not required to be disclosed because it was irrelevant to the proceedings.