Accountants in Despair as Privilege Denied


A Court of Appeal decision made today has been described by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) as 'contrary to the public interest', after the Court ruled that legal professional privilege (LPP) could not be extended to accountants in their role as tax advisers. In the case in point, HM Revenue and Customs are seeking to see correspondence which passed between the Prudential and its accountants relating to advice on tax law.

LPP applies to make communications between client and adviser 'privileged' and thus not able to be required to be produced in  court as evidence in legal proceedings.

The Court confirmed that LPP should only apply to solicitors and barristers.

The ICAEW will undoubtedly join with the Prudential to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

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