Law of England

Legal professionals and their privileges in UK

190.Legal professional privilege

(1)Subsection (2) applies where an individual who[P] is not a barrister or solicitor—

(a)provides advocacy services as an authorised person in relation to the exercise of rights of audience,

(b)provides litigation services as an authorised person in relation to the conduct of litigation,

(c)provides conveyancing services as an authorised person in relation to reserved instrument activities, or

(d)provides probate services as an authorised person in relation to probate activities.

(2)Any communication, document, material or information relating to the provision of the services in question is privileged from disclosure in like manner as if P had at all material times been acting as P’s client’s solicitor.

(3)Subsection (4) applies where—

(a)a licensed body provides services to a client, and
(b)the individual (“E”) through whom the body provides those services—
(i)is a relevant lawyer, or
(ii)acts at the direction and under the supervision of a relevant lawyer (“the supervisor”).

(4)Any communication, document, material or information relating to the provision of the services in question is privileged from disclosure only if, and to the extent that, it would have been privileged from disclosure if—

(a)the services had been provided by E or, if E is not a relevant lawyer, by the supervisor, and
(b)at all material times the client had been the client of E or, if E is not a relevant lawyer, of the supervisor.

(5)“Relevant lawyer” means an individual who is—

(a)a solicitor;
(b)a barrister;
(c)a solicitor in Scotland;
(d)an advocate in Scotland;
(e)a solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland;
(f)a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland;
(g)a registered foreign lawyer (within the meaning of section 89 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41));
(h)an individual not within paragraphs (a) to (g) who is an authorised person in relation to an activity which is a reserved legal activity; or
(i)a European lawyer (within the meaning of the European Communities (Services of Lawyers) Order 1978 (S.I. 1978/1910)).

(6)In this section—

“advocacy services” means any services which it would be reasonable to expect a person who is exercising, or contemplating exercising, a right of audience in relation to any proceedings, or contemplated proceedings, to provide;

“litigation services” means any services which it would be reasonable to expect a person who is exercising, or contemplating exercising, a right to conduct litigation in relation to any proceedings, or contemplated proceedings, to provide;

“conveyancing services” means the preparation of transfers, conveyances, contracts and other documents in connection with, and other services ancillary to, the disposition or acquisition of estates or interests in land;

“probate services” means the preparation of any papers on which to found or oppose a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration and the administration of the estate of a deceased person.

(7)This section is without prejudice to any other enactment or rule of law by virtue of which a communication, a document, material or information is privileged from disclosure.


181Unqualified person not to pretend to be a barrister

(1)It is an offence for a person who is not a barrister—

(a)wilfully to pretend to be a barrister, or

(b)with the intention of implying falsely that that person is a barrister to take or use any name, title or description.

(2)A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or both), and

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both).

(3)In relation to an offence under subsection (1) committed before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), the reference in subsection (2)(a) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.


Source: Courts and Legal Services Act 1990

Connected Laws: Solicitors Act 1974 (c. 47)

Categories: Law of England

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