Introduction The concept of attorney – client privilege has been a long withstanding foundation of the English legal system. It is arguably among the basic principles of justice. This is why when this doctrine is under threat we must pay close attention. Such was the case in Bowman v Fels, where the entire principal was possibly under major reform. The discussion of this paper will critically analyze the decision reached in this case, and the reasoning behind said decision. I will begin my analysis by first establishing the facts and the issues that arose during the hearing. And then proceed to analyse the issues in order to better determine the wider impact the case had. Following the decision of the Court Of Appeal, many critics
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The claimants’ lawyers believed that under section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, they were obliged to notify the NCIS if they did not want to be held criminally liable for entering into an “...arrangement which he knows or suspects facilitates (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of another person..." They also believed that the Act prevented them from disclosing to the parties what they had done. They requested the trail judge that the case be adjourned for a later date, while NCIS continued its investigation. The claimant’s lawyers did not provide a reason for this, but their adjournment was granted nonetheless. In his judgment Judge Cowell cited P v P and concluded that the claimant’s solicitors should inform Mr. Fels and his lawyers of the real reason for which they sought adjournment. The two parties settled the matter but the case was sent to appeal due to the fact that the interpretation of s328 was an issue of great public importance.
Legal Issues Two issues of great public importance arose from this case; we will deal firstly with the central issue and then proceed to the narrower issue. The central issue in question was if section 328 applies to ordinary legal proceedings. The court determined that s328 does not apply to ordinary legal proceedings; this conclusion was based upon several factors. The first of such factors was