Law Society intervention in ENRC privilege case successful

The Court of Appeal has delivered its widely anticipated judgment in the case of ENRC v SFO [2018] EWCA Civ 2006 concerning legal professional privilege. In an important ruling, the court has upheld privilege as a fundamental right and a principle central to the administration of justice.

The Law Society, represented by Dinah Rose QC and David Pievsky (instructed by Eoin O'Shea of Reed Smith), intervened in the proceedings to protect the scope of litigation privilege and to seek to address the long-standing restrictions on legal advice privilege that are the legacy of the Three Rivers (No 5) decision.

Read the judgment in full

Read about the impact of the ruling

Speaking following the decision, Eoin O'Shea said:

'The law of privilege is a vital element of the rule of law and a precondition for proper access to justice. Reed Smith was glad to be able to assist the Law Society with its intervention in this very important case.'

'The result is welcome indeed. It amounts to a re-calibration of the law of privilege, moving it in a more realistic and principled direction. Privilege now clearly applies in circumstances where there is a genuine concern about future prosecution and there is no longer any artificial distinction between civil and criminal proceedings.'

'The Court of Appeal also made clear that the problematic definition of "client" in the law of privilege is in need of review by the Supreme Court, which is another significant move forward.'

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