Office: +44 203 968 0500
24/7 Emergency Response: +44 7887 710 950
Select Page

When does a document lose its privileged status?

When does a document lose its privileged status| BDM Blog | BDM Law

According to a recent Court of Appeal decision, the answer is – until someone with appropriate authority waives privilege or statute provides for its disclosure. That is the case even if there is no-one in existence to waive privilege such that the document remains privileged forever!

This issue came up in the context of an application for the release of privileged documents, namely legal advice given to a client by its lawyers, where the client (a company) had since been dissolved. The background is not particularly important save that the documents were felt to be potentially relevant to a claim brought by investors in an allegedly fraudulent scheme run by the client.

This is a case that looks destined for the Supreme Court simply because the Court of Appeal overruled an earlier decision(2) in which it was held that privilege did not survive the dissolution of a company. This is the sort of case where the interests of justice (getting to the bottom of a fraud potentially instigated by those behind the company) could come into play. It is difficult to see how the interests of a dissolved company could be prejudiced by the release of once privileged information.

  1. Addlesee & Ors v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] EWCA Civ 1600
  2. Garvin Trustees Limited v The Pensions Regulator [2015] Pens L.R. 1., [2014] UKUT B8 (TCC)
BDM is a specialist shipping law firm offering high quality legal advice and representation at a reasonable price. Please follow us on social media by clicking below.

Other Recent Blogs

  • Tendering NOR does wirelessinclude email | BDM Blog | BDM Law
    November 21, 2022

    Tendering NOR – does “wireless” include email?

    In a recent arbitration under the LMAA Small Claims Procedure (1) the Tribunal had to determine the validity of a Notice of Readiness (“NOR”) which had been tendered by email. The NOR is one of the most important documents for ship owners because it acts as a trigger to [...]

    Read more >
  • Delivery without original bills – an example of what can go wrong | BDM Blog | BDM Law
    November 7, 2022

    Delivery without original bills – an example of what can go wrong

    Readers of our blog may recall an article we released back in November 2020 in which we highlighted the risks that a ship owner is required to undertake when accepting a letter of indemnity (LOI) in exchange for releasing the cargo without the production of an original bill [...]

    Read more >
  • Supreme Court gives permission to appeal in The Polar | BDM Blog | BDM Law
    October 31, 2022

    Supreme Court gives permission to appeal in “The Polar”

    We previously reported on the High Court and Court of Appeal’s decisions in one of the last Somali ransom cases still in the Court system. The Court of Appeal held that a war risks provision in a charterparty did not constitute an agreement that the owners would not claim [...]

    Read more >
+44 203 968 0500
+44 7887 710 950