Foxley v United Kingdom: ECHR 20 Jun 2000

A bankrupt was suspected of disposing of his assets to avoid a confiscation order. The trustee in bankruptcy obtained an order for the bankrupt’s post to be diverted to her whilst he was in prison. She opened all post and copied it before forwarding it to the bankrupt. This included correspondence with his legal advisers. The order and her practice infringed the bankrupt’s human rights insofar as no distinction was made with respect to correspondence protected by legal privilege, and insofar as the order continued in effect after the bankrupt’s discharge. ‘The Court can see no justification for this procedure and considers that the action taken was not in keeping with the principles of confidentiality and professional privilege attaching to relations between a lawyer and his client. It notes in this connection that the Government have not sought to argue that the privileged channel of communication was being abused; nor have they invoked any other exceptional circumstances which would serve to justify the interference with reference to their margin of appreciation.’


Times 04-Jul-2000, (2001) 31 EHRR 637, 33274/96, [2000] ECHR 223, [2000] ECHR 224


Worldlii, Bailii


Insolvency Act 1986 371, European Convention on Human Rights

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Special Commissioner And Another, ex parte Morgan Grenfell and Co Ltd HL 16-May-2002
The inspector issued a notice requiring production of certain documents. The respondents refused to produce them, saying that they were protected by legal professional privilege.
Held: Legal professional privilege is a fundamental part of . .
CitedBowman v Fels (Bar Council and Others intervening) CA 8-Mar-2005
The parties had lived together in a house owned in the defendant’s name and in which she claimed an interest. The claimant’s solicitors notified NCIS that they thought the defendant had acted illegally in setting off against his VAT liability the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Insolvency, Legal Professions

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.80653