Warning: Why you should ALWAYS obtain legal advice from the legal profession!
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court has held that if an individual or business takes legal advice from their accountant, or any other person or sector not within the legal profession, that advice is not protected by legal advice privilege. This means that any ‘private’ discussions you have can later be revealed in court.
For example, if you were to ask your accountant about how best to exit an employee from your business, these discussions could later be relied on in tribunal if that employee makes a claim for unfair dismissal. Likewise, if a business instructed an HR consultant to advise it on a redundancy process, individuals who later make claims for unfair dismissal because they believe the redundancy process was unfair could request disclosure of the advice between the business and HR consultant.
By instructing a member of the legal profession, businesses and individuals can rest assured that the discussions and correspondence between them and their legal adviser will benefit from legal advice privilege.