In R (Prudential plc and another) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax and another [2010] EWCA Civ 1094, the Court of Appeal found that common law legal professional privilege (“LPP”) did not apply to any professionals other than qualified lawyers. Leave was given to appeal this decision.  

The Law Society has now been granted leave to intervene in the appeal to the Supreme Court, and has stated as follows:  

“LPP is closely tied to the administration of justice. The first duty of a solicitor … is to the Court and the second is to the client. In this respect lawyers are unique among the professions. 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. Extending LPP in such a way risks creating uncertainty over what can and cannot fall under LPP. The boundaries of LLP must remain clear.”  

It is the Law Society’s view that if the application of LLP is to be extended beyond the legal profession then this must be done by statute rather than by a decision of the court.