Courts are subjecting the rules of legal professional privilege to ever closer examination, testing the limits of privilege in often controversial ways, particularly in relation to the ability of corporations to attract privilege. This has led to a marked divergence between the approaches of the Singapore, English and Australian courts. Your expert international panel (a leading Singaporean SC, an Australian SC who has a substantial South East Asian practice, an English barrister who has co-authored The Law of Privilege (3rd ed), and an English barrister practising in Singapore, with Stephen Moriarty QC in the chair) will examine these differences and evaluate the current rules of privilege in Singapore, compared to the possibly more controversial recent changes introduced by the English courts, against the background of the Australian courts’ approach. The panel will pick up some of the questions raised by this year’s Christopher Bathurst Prize problem, and also examine issues such as:
• who in a corporation counts as “the client” for the purposes of privilege?
• should privilege attach to internal discussions in a corporation about reaching a commercial settlement to avoid a dispute?
• what parts of chains of emails within a corporation are privileged?
• is there a “dominant purpose” test in legal advice privilege?
• do regulatory investigations count as “litigation” for litigation privilege, and what about internal reports commissioned by a corporation?
This panel discussion will be of interest to dispute resolution lawyers, in-house counsel (whether or not they are directly involved in their corporation’s litigation) and lawyers involved in regulatory compliance (both from the regulator’s and regulated’s points of view).
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