Chandler v Church: 1987

(New Zealand) Disclosure was sought of papers said to be protected by litigation privilege on the basis of an exception because of alleged fraud.
Hoffmann J said: ‘The principle on which the plaintiffs seek disclosure is that laid down in the classic judgment of Stephen J in R v. Cox and Railton (1884) 14 QBD 153, namely that privilege does not attach to a communication between a client and his legal adviser ‘intended to facilitate or to guide the client in the commission of a crime or fraud’. This principle applies not only when the legal adviser is party to the crime or fraud but also when he is ignorant of the purpose for which his advice or assistance is being asked. As Stephen J said, in neither case can the client have been consulting his adviser in a confidential professional capacity: ‘The client must either conspire with his solicitor or deceive him.”


Hoffmann J


(1987) 177 NLJ 451


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Cox and Railton 1884
(Court for Crown Cases Reserved) The defendants were charged with conspiracy to defraud a judgment creditor of the fruits of a judgment by dishonestly backdating a dissolution of their partnership to a date prior to a bill of sale given by Railton . .

Cited by:

CitedKuwait Airways Corporation v Iraqi Airways Company (No 6) CA 16-Mar-2005
The defendant company appealed against an order allowing inspection of documents for which litigation privilege had been claimed. It was said that the defendants had been involved in perjury in previous proceedings between the parties.
Held: . .
CitedOmar’s Trustees v Omar ChD 2000
A wife and mistress (D) had conspired, after the death of the husband, to remove money in bank accounts from his estate by taking the bearer shares in the company in whose name the accounts were held. The first action, in which D was legally . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Legal Professions

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.224369