Privilege, Confidentiality & Conflicts of Interest

"Specific areas of specialism include… niche areas such as privilege."


The Legal 500

Fountain Court is home to some of the best-known barristers in this niche and intricate area.

Our experience of privilege law is particularly renowned, with many members contributing to the leading text, The Law of Privilege, edited by Head of Chambers Bankim Thanki QC, as well as privilege chapters in other publications. We have acted on most of the leading cases in this area, including those which established new precedents, covering legal advice privilege, litigation privilege and without prejudice privilege.

Fountain Court has been predominant in this sphere for many years. For example, a number of our members were involved in the extremely significant Three Rivers litigation (resulting from the collapse of BCCI) from which the leading House of Lords authority on the scope of legal advice privilege (“Three Rivers (No.6)”) derives. In more recent years, we have appeared in leading Supreme Court and Court of Appeal cases on all aspects of privilege (for example, R (Prudential plc) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax, SFO v ENRC, R (on the application of Jet2.com Ltd) v CAA and Sports Direct International v Financial Reporting Council).

Our members also advise clients on various issues relating to confidentiality and conflicts of interest including in the context of the relationship between clients and their professional advisors and in the arbitration field regarding the obligations of arbitrators.

We often advise on privilege, confidentiality and conflicts of interest issues in the context of wider disputes including in the professional negligence or disciplinary context, such as claims involving legal professionals. We also regularly advise in the context of regulatory investigations including those involving criminal allegations, calling upon our extensive experience in the field of commercial crime.

Our work includes cases relating to:

  • Cases involving issues relating to legal advice privilege
  • Cases involving issues relating to litigation privilege
  • Cases involving issues relating to without prejudice privilege
  • Professional negligence claims
  • Regulatory investigations including in the professional discipline or commercial crime arena
  • Disputes involving the duties of arbitrators

  • R (on the application of Jet2.com Ltd) v CAA: Acting in a high-profile dispute which raised important issues of legal advice privilege in the context of ‘multi-addressee communications’ and established a dominant purpose test for legal advice privilege.
  • Sports Direct International v Financial Reporting Council: Acting for both sides in an important appeal concerning legal professional privilege in the context of professional regulatory investigations in which the Court of Appeal confirmed the absolute nature of legal professional privilege.
  • Motorola Solutions Inc v Hytera Communications Corp: Acting for Hytera in its successful appeal against a $345 million freezing order, where the Court of Appeal definitively restated the law relating to the ‘unambiguous impropriety’ exception to without prejudice privilege.
  • Curless v Shell International Limited: Acting successfully for Shell in the appeal concerning the application of the crime-fraud exception to legal professional privilege.
  • SFO v ENRC: Acting in the significant victory in the Court of Appeal, following the controversial judgment in the court below, denying the right to claim legal professional privilege over substantial volumes of documentation concerning an SFO investigation into alleged corruption around the acquisition of mining rights.
  • SRA v Pinner & Morris: Acting for the respondents in a three-day hearing before the SDT which raised issues regarding whether clients had been sufficiently informed of a conflict of interest to which the respondents were subject.
  • Halliburton v Chubb: Acting in the Supreme Court case concerned with the circumstances in which repeat appointments of an arbitrator by one party may give rise to justifiable doubts as to the arbitrator’s impartiality.
  • R (on the application of Prudential plc & Another) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax & Another [2013] UKSC 1: Acting in the Supreme Court action regarding whether legal professional privilege should extend to accountants giving legal advice as to tax.
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Privilege, Confidentiality & Conflicts of Interest Barristers

Richard Lissack QC

Richard Lissack QC

Call 1978 | Silk 1994

Timothy Dutton QC

Timothy Dutton CBE QC

Call 1979 | Silk 1998

Charles Bear QC

Charles Béar QC

Call 1986 | Silk 2003

Bankim Thanki QC

Bankim Thanki QC

Call 1988 | Silk 2003

Patricia Robertson QC

Patricia Robertson QC

Call 1988 | Silk 2006

Mark Simpson QC

Mark Simpson QC

Call 1992 | Silk 2008

Jeffrey Chapman QC

Jeffrey Chapman QC

Call 1989 | Silk 2010

Patrick Goodall QC

Patrick Goodall QC

Call 1998 | Silk 2014

Rosalind Phelps QC

Rosalind Phelps QC

Call 1998 | Silk 2016

Robin Barclay QC

Robin Barclay QC

Call 1999 | Silk 2020

Ben Lynch QC

Ben Lynch QC

Call 2001 | Silk 2020

Chloe Carpenter QC

Chloe Carpenter QC

Call 2001 | Silk 2020

Tamara Oppenheimer QC

Tamara Oppenheimer QC

Call 2002 | Silk 2020

Nik Yeo

Call 2000

Natasha Bennett

Natasha Bennett

Call 2009

Daniel Edmonds

Daniel Edmonds

Call 2010

Rebecca Loveridge

Rebecca Loveridge

Call 2011

Philip Ahlquist

Philip Ahlquist

Call 2012

Leonora Sagan

Leonora Sagan

Call 2012

James Hart

James Hart

Call 2012

Simon Paul

Simon Paul

Call 2013

Max Kasriel

Max Kasriel

Call 2015

Samuel Rabinowitz

Samuel Rabinowitz

Call 2016

Joseph Leech

Joseph Leech

Call 2020

Francesca Ruddy

Francesca Ruddy

Call 2020

Related insights View all

13/05/2022

Commercial Court clarifies the scope of litigation privilege

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19/10/2021

Commercial Crime – Recent Case Analysis (Edition 2)

This piece, produced by Richard Lissack QC and Robin Lööf, includes updates…

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Contact our clerks

For more information on our experience or to discuss a particular case, please contact us.

Call:    +44 (0)207 583 3335
Email: clerks@fountaincourt.co.uk

Featured insights

Season 1: Episode 4

An Update on Privilege

This episode is hosted by Rebecca Loveridge and looks at some of…

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