Legal professional privilege and the Data Protection Act 2018

Aug 21, 2018 GDPR News

GDPR, the mammoth new data protection regulation, came into force across the EU in May this year. Alongside it, the Data Protection Act 2018 was passed by the UK Parliament, replacing the DPA 1998 and giving the UK a single source of data protection legislation.

Designed to be read alongside GDPR, the DPA added to the bits of law that GDPR does not cover and expanded on the areas the UK chose to opt-out from or amend. One of these key areas is legal professional privilege. Legal professional privilege is a fundamental human right which allows clients to have open conversations with their lawyers in order to allow lawyers to provide their clients with the best service.

While the GDPR does not include any provisions for legal professional privilege, the DPA 2018 clearly stipulates that the provisions of the act do not apply to personal data that consists of information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained. This could refer to legal professional privilege in legal proceedings or information in respect of which a duty of confidentiality is owed by a professional legal advisor to a client of the advisor.