The House of Lords (HL) has decided that the covert surveillance provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) were intended to extend to consultations between legal advisers and their clients. Such consultations are usually protected by legal professional privilege, which entitles a litigant to withhold its communications with a professional legal adviser during the course of judicial proceedings. Dismissing the appeal from the High Court, the HL held that, amongst other things: (i) there is nothing in RIPA’s wording that would operate to exclude privileged communications; and (ii) there is a need to incorporate exceptions to legal privilege, for example, to apprehend dishonest lawyers. The OFT relies upon the RIPA power when it carries out investigations of breaches of competition law (including cartels).