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Legal Professional Privilege and the Investigation of Corporate Crime

Lecture Theatre 402, Fourth Floor, Business and Law Building, City Campus East


Professor Michael Stockdale, Head of Law, Northumbria University
Rebecca Mitchell, Director of LLM Programmes, Northumbria University 

When legal professional privilege attaches to communications, it enables the person entitled to claim privilege to refuse to produce privileged documents or to answer questions about their content. There are two forms of legal professional privilege:

* Legal advice privilege and litigation privilege. Legal advice privilege attaches to confidential communications between legal adviser and client for the purpose of giving or obtaining legal advice.
* Litigation privilege attaches to confidential communications between legal adviser or client and a third party for the purposes of adversarial litigation which is in reasonable contemplation.

In this seminar, we consider two areas that arise in the context of corporate criminal investigations relating to claims of legal professional privilege. First, the difficulty of identifying the client for the purposes of legal advice privilege and secondly the extent to which litigation privilege may attach to communications made in the context of such investigations. These issues are of particular significance where a company is or may be the subject of an investigation by specialist prosecuting authorities, such as the Serious Fraud Office. Both issues have recently been the subject of high profile litigation and the former issue is ripe for an appeal to the Supreme Court.

This lecture is part of the Police Research and Education Network series that will draw upon leading research expertise within Northumbria University. Each seminar will provide an opportunity for staff to present their research findings on key topics for contemporary policing, reflecting on the challenge of developing evidence based for police practice.

The seminars are free to attend. They will be informal and are designed to promote debate between academics and practitioners from the police and other relevant agencies.

Refreshments will be available in the Corporate Hub (Fourth Floor), Business and Law Building, City Campus East, NE2 1UY from 5pm.



Event Details

Lecture Theatre 402, Fourth Floor, Business and Law Building, City Campus East
Newcastle upon Tyne


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