09th Feb 2018
Bilta (UK) Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc
 EWHC 3535
An important judgment on legal professional privilege has been handed down by the High Court. In Bilta (UK) Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc  EWHC 3535 the Chancellor considered the scope of litigation privilege and upheld RBS’s claim to privilege over documents created in the course of an internal investigation following allegations made by HMRC in correspondence of tax carousel fraud. Privilege was held to extend to notes and transcripts of interviews with employees. The case is an important clarification of the law in light of the recent decision in Serious Fraud Office v ENRC, which has caused considerable difficulties for practitioners and corporate clients. It should be noted:
Whilst the Chancellor noted that all cases will turn on their facts, this is an important decision for banks, insurers and professional service firms who often require to undertake internal and regulatory investigations.
Michael Ryan appeared for the successful party, RBS Plc, in the application. Michael was led by John Wardell QC and was instructed by Stuart Walsh and Alan Sheeley of Pinsent Masons. Michael will appear at the trial of the action which is listed for 6 weeks later in 2018.
The full text of the judgment can be found here.