In Cohen v. Cohen, No. 09 Civ. 10230(LAP), 2015 WL 745712 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 30, 2015), applying New York law, the court held that communications between plaintiff and her litigation funder were not privileged.  In this matter, plaintiff alleged that her former husband fraudulently concealed marital assets during their divorce.  Plaintiff asserted the attorney-client privilege over several hundred emails exchanged with Napp, who was funding plaintiff’s litigation.  The emails included discussions of legal strategy, court filings, discovery, and funding for the litigation.  Plaintiff had engaged Napp, a non-practicing attorney, “to provide litigation support,” through two consulting agreements, which stated that Napp is “not an agent, employee, servant of representative of” plaintiff.  The court held that Napp was not within the attorney-client privilege because she was neither an agent of counsel nor did she share a common legal interest with plaintiff.  Under the Kovel line of cases, communications with a third party may be privileged if the involvement of the third party is “indispensible or serve[s] some specialized purpose in facilitating the attorney client communications.”  Here, the consulting agreement expressly stated that Napp was not acting as an agent of plaintiff, and the court found that Napp did not provide an indispensible role in providing legal advice.  The court also held that the communications were not protected by the common interest doctrine as articulated in New York, which protects communications otherwise privileged that are shared with a third party who shares identical or nearly identical legal interests for the purpose of furthering a common legal interest or strategy.  The court found that the relationship between plaintiff and Napp was financial, not legal: “The ‘Joint Interest’ agreement between Ms. Napp and Plaintiff cannot change the substance of their relationship, which is inherently financial and in no way within the mold of a common legal interest.”