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Legal privilege



An important component of doing business is the ability to obtain open and candid advice from your lawyer without the threat that the advice received will have to be disclosed. Equally important for individuals and businesses is the ability to prepare for or defend a lawsuit without having to publicise your case to the other side.

Privilege is a legal right which allows persons to resist compulsory disclosure of documents and information. The fact that a document is sensitive or confidential is not a bar to disclosure, although privileged documents must be confidential.

There are two main types of privilege protection under English and US law. Broadly, these protect communications between lawyer and client (attorney-client privilege under US law and legal advice privilege under English law) and documents prepared for litigation (the work product doctrine under US law and litigation privilege under English law).

There are strict rules for when each of these types of privilege apply.

Our guides

Is my document protected by privilege?

“Is my document protected by privilege?”

Our interactive privilege flowchart can be used to determine whether or not a document is protected by legal privilege from an English law perspective.

Essential guide to legal privilege: English and US perspectives

Essential guide to legal privilege: English and US perspectives

An overview of legal advice privilege and litigation privilege from an English law perspective, and attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine from a US law perspective, including centrefold table setting out the key similarities and differences between English and US law on privilege, as well as practical tips on legal privilege and document protection.

Privilege and document protection – FAQs

Legal privilege - frequently asked questions

Privilege and document protection issues may arise in a number of different scenarios. We answer some of the most frequently asked questions from both an English and US law perspective. See also our Privilege and document protection - frequently asked questions from an English law perspective for further details from an English law perspective.

Privilege in global investigations – key takeaways

Privilege in global investigations – key takeaways

Top tips on maintaining privilege in the context of investigations from an English and US law perspective.

Complete Information Protection

Complete Information Protection

A bespoke, flexible legal service for the protection of your information at a transparent, fixed price