Call for legislation to protect legal professional privilege from state surveillance

Employment law solicitor Paul MaynardThe Law Society, the Bar Council and the Scottish Faculty of Advocates have issued a joint declaration to push for legislation that safeguards legal professional privilege (LPP) from state surveillance.

LPP, which only applies to advice given by solicitors or barristers, gives clients the right to keep documents containing legal advice secret from the court or an opponent in litigation. This recent declaration comes in the light of concerns over the possible effects on LPP of unwarranted state surveillance and acquisition of communications data.  

LPP is seen as a core facet of the legal profession and the declaration calls for explicit statutory protection from state surveillance as well as a review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which governs the use of covert surveillance by public bodies.    

Gaby Hardwicke Employment Law Services Partner Paul Maynard (pictured) said: “The value of legal professional privilege is often overlooked by the public. For instance, if a business takes advice from an unqualified individual such as an HR Representative they may not appreciate (and are doubtless seldom told) that whatever they say and/or write to that representative becomes disclosable in subsequent proceedings and they can be cross examined upon the contents of these communications.  This is one of the great risks associated with using persons other than solicitors for advice in areas that could become contentious.”

For expert legal advice on any commercial law matter contact Gaby Hardwicke Managing Partner David Getty, who will direct you to a suitable specialist lawyer whose advice carries the benefits of legal professional privilege.

Call David on 01323 435 900 or email him at .

Posted: 17 December 2014

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