Lonrho Plc v Fayed and Others (No 4 ): CA 27 Oct 1993

Public interest immunity does not attach to documents in the hands of a taxpayer and his advisers. They are not in any event discloseable. (Bingham) ‘a claim made by the revenue to withhold documents relating to a taxpayer’s tax affairs from production without his consent is properly to be regarded as a claim for public interest immunity. But what matters more than the label is the practice, . . . the courts will give very great weight to preserving the confidentiality of such documents in the hands of the revenue. They will override that confidentiality only if, according to settled principles, the applicant shows very strong grounds for concluding that on the facts of the particular case the public interest in the administration of justice outweighs the public interest in preserving the confidentiality of the documents.’
Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Leggatt LJ
Ind Summary 20-Dec-1993, Times 27-Oct-1993, [1994] QB 775
England and Wales

  • Appeal from – Lonrho Plc v Fayed and Others (No 4 ) QBD 13-Jul-1993
    Tax documents for an individual were subject to a public interest immunity – but could still be ordered to be produced. . .
    Times 13-Jul-93
  • Cited – Conway v Rimmer HL 28-Feb-1968
    Crown Privilege for Documents held by the Polie
    The plaintiff probationary police constable had been investigated, prosecuted and cleared of an allegation of theft. He now claimed damages for malicious prosecution, and in the course of the action, sought disclosure of five documents, but these . .
    [1968] AC 910, [1968] 2 WLR 998, [1968] 1 All ER 874, [1968] UKHL 2

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Updated: 07 December 2020; Ref: scu.83195