Does another round of professional privilege in the courts do more harm than good?

Just when it seemed the battle for legal professional privilege was to be handed over to the accounting institutes, the Pru has applied to the Supreme Court for another round of “taxing” argument.

Good luck to them is all I can say.

Having lost in the High Court and Court of Appeal, where the ICAEW also made a representation on the Pru’s behalf, it seemed as if the insurer would call it quits.

It was then expected that the ICAEW would put together a battle plan, potentially involving the CIoT, as to how to take the argument forward. This was likely to involve government lobbying to push for a change in the law.

Where the Pru’s argument will go is unclear – maybe its QCs will push the “LPP is a fundamental human right” angle. If the Court decides to hear the case, of course.

And I’m sure the ICAEW will be preparing for the court NOT to hear the case, or that the Pru could well lose again if the hearing does happen.

Lobbying government still seems the most likely road to success. And another court hearing may end up as a sideshow that actually delays moving down that path.


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