In the action the plaintiff sues two firms of solicitors for alleged professional negligence in the performance of retainers concerning her late husband’s will and estate. One of those retainers concerned the preparation of a new will by the first defendant. The plaintiff contends that a file held in respect of the new will was not the subject of legal professional privilege, and ought to have been obtained and considered by the second defendant after her husband’s death. The second defendant pleads that the file was subject to legal professional privilege and obligations of confidence and that the exercise of care and skill in performing its retainer did not oblige it to obtain and consider the file. The plaintiff applied for an order under r 483 of the UCPR that issues concerning whether the file was the subject of legal professional privilege, and the compellability of the file, be determined separately from the balance of the issues in the proceeding. The application was dismissed.
The judgment is available here.