The Law Society has been granted permission to intervene in Prudential's appeal to the Supreme Court to extend legal professional privilege (LPP) to other professionals besides lawyers. In the case of Prudential PLC and Prudential (Gibraltar) Limited v Special Commissioner of Income Tax and Phillip Pandolfo (HM Inspector of Taxes) [2009] EWHC 2494, Prudential argued that the existing rule of LLP should be extended to advice on tax law given by accountants. The application was refused at first instance. On appeal by Prudential, the Court of Appeal unanimously confirmed that LLP does not apply to any other professional except solicitors and barristers.

The Law Society was previously granted permission to intervene in Prudential's appeal in the Court of Appeal. It will now be able to intervene and give its views on LLP in Prudential's second appeal to the Supreme Court. Law Society President Linda Lee said, 'If LLP is opened up to any professional person who asserts that they give advice on the law, such as tax advice, they can then seek to withhold vital information from bodies such as HMRC…We believe that if LLP is to be used on a wider basis it is up to parliament to legislate to that effect'.

The outcome of this case is likely to affect whether those seeking tax advice in the UK do so from lawyers (who enjoy the benefit of LLP) or others (who, at present, do not).