Crescent Farm (Sidcup) Sports Ltd v Sterling Offices Ltd: 1972

The plaintiffs, as purchasers, and the first defendants, as sub-purchasers, were parties to a conveyance of land which provided that the purchasers had the option of re-purchasing if, within the following 20 years, the first defendants wanted to sell the land or any part of it. Within that period the first defendants contracted to sell, and then conveyed, the land to the second defendants without any release from the option. In the course of the proceedings for damages for, among other things, breach of contract and conspiracy, the plaintiffs issued a summons for disclosure from the second defendants of instructions to counsel by the first defendants and the opinion of counsel, which had been sent by the first defendants to the second defendants.
Held: The second defendants’ claim for privilege should be upheld and the plaintiffs’ summons dismissed. It was clearly established that privilege of a predecessor in title enures for the benefit of his successor. The second defendants had received the documents at issue as successors in title.


Goff J


[1972] Ch 533, [1971] 3 All ER 1192, [1972] 2 WLR 91


England and Wales


CitedMinet v Morgan CA 1873
A connection with litigation is not a necessary condition for legal privilege to be attracted to a document.
The law on legal privilege had not at once reached a broad and reasonable footing, but reached it by successive steps. . .

Cited by:

CitedIn re Konigsberg (A Bankrupt) 1989
The court considered in the context of legal privilege the distinction between the disclosure of a document and its use at trial. Parties who grant a joint retainer to solicitors do not retain any confidence as against one another.
A bankrupt’s . .
CitedX v Y Ltd (Practice and Procedure – Disclosure) EAT 9-Aug-2018
Iniquity surpasses legal advice privilege
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Striking-out/dismissal
An Employment Judge struck out paragraphs of the Claimant’s claim as they depended on an email in respect of which legal advice privilege was claimed. . .
CitedShlosberg v Avonwick Holdings and Others ChD 7-Mar-2016
Application for order disallowing a firm from acting for the defendants. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Legal Professions

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.621168