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Edward C Behague v HMRC

In Edward C Behague v HMRC (TC02983 – 21 October 2013) the taxpayer was appealing against an information notice issued by HMRC under FA 2008 Sch 36 para 1 on the ground that the information requested was protected by legal professional privilege (‘LPP’).

HMRC had requested copies of both the taxpayer’s engagement letter with his solicitors and of a report on trust arrangements prepared by them.

HMRC referred to Dickenson v Rushmer ([2002] 1 Costs LR 128) as authority for the proposition that an engagement letter is not subject to LPP. The tribunal agreed but only in so far as the letter ‘sets out the terms of the contract’ between the solicitor and his client. If this was the case it could not attract LPP as the lawyer was not giving advice ‘qua lawyer’. The position was however different if the engagement letter also specified...

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