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14 May 2013 / Ian Young
Issue: 4402 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

Taxpayers should be entitled to the best possible advice from the professional most qualified to give it


  • Legal advice privilege applies to lawyers’ clients only.
  • The legal market is being extended to other professionals.
  • The Supreme Court said it was for parliament to amend the law.
  • Lawyers should not have a deliberate advantage over other advisers.

Legal advice privilege (LAP) was held by Lord Hoffman in R (on the application of Morgan Grenfell & Co Ltd) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax [2002] STC 786 to be a fundamental human right that permits a person to obtain advice without fear that communications in which the advice is sought or provided will be disclosable to a third party. This applies equally if HMRC are seeking to find out what advice has been given.

To date under common law LAP applies only to the clients of lawyers and not to...

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