Three Rivers District Council and others v The Governor and Co of the Bank of England (No 6): CA 1 Mar 2004

The Bank of England had sought assistance from its lawyers to prepare for a private non-statutory enquiry. The claimant sought disclosure of that advice. The defendant bank claimed legal professional privilege.
Held: Not all advice given by a solicitor to his client attracts privilege. The broad protection which did exist did not extend to situations where the dominant purpose was not the obtaining of legal advice and assistance in relation to legal rights and obligations. What was protected was advice which required a knowledge of the law. Here, the advice was on matters of presentation, though that might have included matters of law. That possibility would not protect the entire range of assistance given. Where the advice was as to how the witness might present his case so as perhaps to avoid criticism, that should not itself attract privilege. The inquiry was not concerned with legal rights and liabilities. The communications did not in general attract privilege.

Lord Justice Longmore Lord Phillips Of Worth Matravers, Mr Lord Justice Thomas
[2004] EWCA Civ 218, Times 03-Mar-2004, Gazette 18-Mar-2004, [2004] 3 All ER 168, [2004] QB 916, [2004] 2 WLR 1065
Tribunals of Inquiry Evidence Act 1921 1(3)
England and Wales
CitedThree Rivers District Council and others v The Governor and Co of the Bank of England (No 5) CA 3-Apr-2003
Documents had been prepared by the respondent to support a request for legal advice in anticipation of the Bingham enquiry into the collapse of BCCI.
Held: Legal advice privilege attached to the communications between a client and the . .
Appeal fromThree Rivers District Council v Bank of England (No 5) ComC 4-Nov-2003
The defendant bank sought protection from disclosure of advice it had received from its solicitors.
Held: To the extent that the communications were for the purpose of seeking advice as to its legal rights and obligations, the communications . .
CitedBalabel v Air India CA 1988
When considering claims for legal professional privilege, the court should acknowledge the ‘continuity of communications’. However, where the traditional role of a solicitor had expanded, the scope of legal professional privilege should not be . .
CitedGreenhough v Gaskell CA 1833
The question arose whether the defendant solicitor, sued for fraudulently concealing that his client was insolvent and thereby inducing the plaintiff to issue a promissory note on the client’s behalf, could claim privilege in respect of . .
CitedCarpmael v Powis 1846
The court discussed the extent and scope of legal professional privilege: ‘I am of the opinion that the privilege extends to all communications between a solicitor, as such, and his client, relating to matters within the ordinary scope of a . .
CitedWheeler v Le Marchant CA 1881
Advice was given to the defendant trustee of the will of a Mr Brett in the course of its administration in the Chancery Division; for the purpose of that advice information was sought from both the former and the current estate-agent and surveyor. . .
CitedMinter v Priest HL 1930
The House was asked whether a conversation between a person seeking the services of a solicitor in relation to the purchase of real property and the solicitor was privileged in circumstances where the solicitor was being requested to lend the . .
CitedGreat Atlantic Insurance v Home Insurance CA 1981
The defendants sought to enter into evidence one part of a document, but the plaintiffs sought to have the remainder protected through legal professional privilege.
Held: The entirety of the document was privileged, but by disclosing part, the . .
CitedWilson v Northampton and Banbury Junction Railway Co 1872
Lord Selborne LC said: ‘It is of the highest importance . . that all communications between a solicitor and a client upon a subject which may lead to litigation should be privileged, and I think the court is bound to consider that . . almost any . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromThree Rivers District Council and others v Governor and Company of the Bank of England (No 6) HL 11-Nov-2004
The Bank anticipated criticism in an ad hoc enquiry which was called to investigate its handling of a matter involving the claimant. The claimant sought disclosure of the documents created when the solicitors advised employees of the Bank in . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Legal Professions

Updated: 16 December 2021; Ref: scu.194072