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legal privilege


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(in criminal investigations) Material to which legal privilege attaches cannot be seized or intercepted and no production order or search warrant can be obtained for such material. Section 10 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 defines legal privilege. Protection is given to communications between a professional legal adviser and his client or a person representing his client, in connection with giving legal advice. It also attaches to communications between a professional legal adviser and any person in connection with or contemplation of legal proceedings. It also attaches to items enclosed in or referred to in the foregoing. Legal privilege is for the benefit of the client, not the lawyer, and can be waived only by the client. If the item is not legally privileged in the hands of the client then neither is it privileged in the hands of the solicitor. Legal privilege does not attach to items held with the intention of furthering a criminal purpose or items that are part of commercial activity and not legal advice, such as house conveyancing documents.

Subjects: Law.


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