Iniquity surpasses legal advice privilege
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Disclosure
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. In considering whether privilege could not be claimed as the advice in the email was given for the purpose of facilitating an iniquity, the Employment Judge erred in his interpretation of the email. Prima facie, the email gave advice on how to cloak what would otherwise be a disability discrimination dismissal as a dismissal for redundancy. Properly interpreted the email surmounted the high bar of iniquity. There was a strong prima facie case that the email recorded not just that the Claimant could be dismissed in a redundancy exercise but may claim disability discrimination. Barclays Bank plc v Eustice  1 WLR 1238 and BBGP Managing General Partner Ltd v Babcock and Brown Global Partners  Ch 296 considered. Decision of the Employment Judge to strike out the relevant paragraphs in the ET1 set aside.
Slade DBE J
 UKEAT 0261 – 17 – 0908
Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2013 37(1)(a)
England and Wales
Cited – Barclays Bank Plc v Eustice CA 6-Jul-1995
No Professional Privilege in Iniquity
There was an allegation that the legal advice for which privilege was sought and resisted had been obtained in order to frustrate the mortgagee’s rights to the property at issue, because the mortgagors regarded the mortgagee bank as interfering with . .
Cited – BBGP Managing General Partner Ltd and Others v Babcock and Brown Global Partners ChD 20-Aug-2010
Norris J held:
‘Although the case law refers to crime or fraud or dishonesty (such as fraudulent breach of trust, fraudulent conspiracy, trickery or sham contrivances) it is plain that the term ‘fraud’ is used in a relatively wide sense: Eustice’s . .
Cited – BNP Paribas v A Mezzotero EAT 30-Mar-2004
EAT Appeal from ET’s decision, at directions hearing, permitting evidence to be adduced, at the forthcoming hearing of a direct sex discrimination and victimisation complaint, of the Applicant’s allegation that, . .
Cited – Gamlen Chemical Co (UK) Ltd v Rochem Ltd CA 4-Dec-1979
Solicitors accepted instructions against a promise of sums on account of costs. After non-payment they began to apply to be removed from the record. The new solicitors sought transfer of the solicitors file, and obtained an order to that effect . .
Cited – Gamlen Chemical Co (UK) Ltd v Rochem Ltd 1983
Goulding J said: ‘For servants during their employment and in breach of their contractual duty of fidelity to their master to engage in a scheme, secretly using their master’s time and money, to take the master’s customers and employees and make . .
Cited – 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 . .
Cited – Walsh Automation (Europe) Ltd v Bridgeman and others QBD 4-Jul-2002
Appeal from refusal of order for disclosure of legal advice given to a party. It was alleged that the defendant’s suggested attempt at fraud by means of a document drawn up by the solicitors would be revealed by disclosure of the advice given. . .
Cited – Dadourian Group International and Another v Simms and others ChD 7-Feb-2008
It was suggested that the use of documents revealed under court disclosure for a further purpose was a contempt of court, and that they were protected by legal professional privilege.
Held: For iniquity to be established ‘there has to be . .
Cited – Airtours Holidays Transport Ltd v Revenue and Customs SC 11-May-2016
The court was asked whether the appellant, Airtours Holidays Transport Ltd (formerly MyTravel Group plc), was entitled to recover, by way of input tax VAT charged by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in respect of services provided by PwC and paid for by . .
Cited – Ventouris v Mountain CA 1991
It is in the interests of the state which provides the court system and its judges at taxpayers’ expense that legal advisers should be able to encourage strong cases and discourage weak cases. ‘It is the protection of confidential communications . .
Cited – Fazil-Alizadeh v Nikbin CA 25-Feb-1993
There are powerful policy reasons for admitting in evidence as exceptions to the without prejudice rule only the very clearest of cases. Unless this highly beneficial rule is most scrupulously and jealously protected, it will all too readily become . .
Cited – Nationwide Building Society v Various Solicitors ChD 20-Jan-1998
Legal professional privilege could be set aside at disclosure where the fraudulent intention of one lay client was thereby shown as against another lender. The right to assert legal professional privilege does not apply to documents which came into . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.621100