Is legal professional privilege lost if a document is made generally available?
In a recent case, the High Court considered whether the claimant had waived privilege in confidential documents simply because they had been seen by someone other than the claimant and his lawyer.
An employee of Fulbright & Jaworski International (FJI) forwarded confidential documents sent to her personal email address by the claimant, Mr Shepherd (with whom she was having a relationship), to her work email account. When she opened the documents at work, and unknown to Mr Shepherd, FJI’s server automatically stored a copy of the documents. During employment tribunal proceedings between FJI and the employee, the confidential documents were disclosed. The documents in question contained highly personal information in connection with Mr Shepherd’s divorce proceedings with his former wife. When Mr Shepherd found out about the disclosure, he brought a claim in the High Court for delivery or destruction of the confidential documents on the basis that they were privileged and later made an application for summary judgment.
At the hearing of the application, the court considered several issues, but for the purposes of this article the key issue was whether Mr Shepherd’s act in emailing the documents to the employee amounted to a waiver of privilege…
Click on the link below to read the rest of the Walker Morris briefing.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from Walker Morris
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Walker Morris
Nnew advice and guidance has been published for vloggers on how to ensure they do not unwittingly contravene consumer protection legislation or the CAP Code.
Also: defining ‘building’ in planning policy; and more
Analysis from The Lawyer
Which firms are cutting it in this era of slimline rosters, and who are the GC new brooms making clean sweeps? The Lawyer can reveal all
The law school war shows no signs of ending. But we have, perhaps, reached the end of the beginning.