Secret Identities And Litigation Privilege

Construction disputes can seem inevitable when many parties are involved – such as in cases like the massive Baha Mar resort project. Yet they are not inevitable and with due diligence and specialist legal support throughout the project, the risks can be minimised. It’s not just the costs involved in bringing disputes to an end – it’s the inevitable delays caused to the projects themselves and potential reputational damage.

However, when disputes do arise they can be lengthy and costly – and if the parties can resolve the issues without court action, it is in all their best interests.The award-winning commercial litigation lawyers at ParrisWhittaker are experienced in advising and representing clients in construction disputes Indeed, the courts expect the parties to try to use appropriate ways to try to bring the dispute to an end without going to court by way of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

What issue arose in this case?

The broad litigation concerned alleged corporate fraud on the part of Credit Suisse in relation to securities. In this hearing, the court had to decide whether the identity of individuals authorised to instruct solicitors on behalf of a company in ongoing litigation was privileged.

Credit Suisse sought an order that the named individuals authorised to instruct solicitors were not privileged. The claimant (a Jersey-based financing company) resisted on the basis that the information sought was irrelevant and subject to legal professional privilege.

The court set out two requirements to be met for the identity of someone communicating with a lawyer to attract litigation privilege:

  • Whether the communication is privileged.
  • Whether that privilege will be undermined by the disclosure of identity sought.

Each case requires a decision on its facts; and in this particular case, the court found nothing to suggest that the privilege would be undermined by the disclosure of the individuals’ identity as sought. This meant that the defendant would have to identify the individuals in question.

Even more preferable is working to pre-emp a dispute in the first place.For specialist advice from expert commercial litigation lawyers at ParrisWhittaker contact us on +1.242.352.6112 or [email protected]

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