Family Law Hub

Privilege

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  • The husband sought an order for the wife to produce the files of her previous legal advisors. The husband's case was that she had waived the privilege that would normally attach to communications between a client and her legal advisors on three separate occasions, for example when claiming that they had been "frankly incompetent". Cohen J found that the wife had clearly invited the husband "into the consultation room", in claiming that her instructions had been misconstrued or misquoted or not followed. It would be unfair if the husband could not challenge this statement by reference to contemporaneous notes, emails and other communications. The files would be made available to a QC selected by the parties for sifting and, if required, redacting the necessary material. Judgment, 12/07/2020, free
  • The wife was seeking to enforce a financial order made in her favour. It had been the largest financial order ever made in favour of a wife in the jurisdiction and the husband had not paid a penny of it. She now made this application in respect of documents which had been obtained from a former employee of the husband, who was now assisting in her litigation enforcement efforts. An application for directions pursuant to UL v BK should have been made when the documents were received, but was not. Given that this was a case involving fraud and evasion on the husband's part, Knowles J directed that the wife and her lawyers were entitled to retain and use certain of the documents as if they had been disclosed by the husband, including those that were potentially privileged. Knowles J also gave guidance as to what should be done in similar situations in future. Judgment, 27/11/2019, free
  • Wife's application within financial remedy proceedings for a whistle-blower's statement to be admitted as evidence was refused. The new material fell well short of being capable of establishing fraud or iniquity that would justify overriding or ignoring the legal professional privilege which otherwise would attach to all that the whistle-blower's statement describes. Judgment, 28/02/2019, free
  • Judgment concerning whether documents leaked to a judge by a possible whistleblower working for a firm in financial remedy proceedings are protected by legal professional privilege. Holman J directed that the matter be listed before The President for determination. Judgment, 27/06/2018, free
  • Appeal by a solicitor against an order requiring him to give evidence in big money financial remedy proceedings on the grounds that he was protected by legal professional privilege. Appeal dismissed largely because the evidence sought was not about client advice but third party dealings and therefore not privileged. Judgment, 27/02/2018, free

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