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Lord Hanworth M.R said, (at page 665),
…Certain principles have been laid down in cases which are binding upon this Court, and may be usefully stated. It is clear…that when a solicitor has in fact been retained, all that passes between him and his client is absolutely privileged.

In [Browne] Lord Bowen suggests a further privilege – namely, that all that passes between a solicitor and a presumptive client with a view to the client retaining the solicitor to act for him is protected by privilege if the client does in fact retain the solicitor. In my opinion, after a consideration of the cases, I think that this last qualification is unnecessarily narrow, and that if what passes is with a view to, and for the purpose of retaining the solicitor, then it is protected even if the solicitor does not accept the retainer…

Next it is clear that if a solicitor is consulted by a client for the purpose of the client learning how he may carry into effect a criminal or fraudulent purpose, the solicitor cannot claim the protection of privilege. The solicitor in such a case is not freed from his duty as a citizen to give evidence of a crime or a fraud…
It is otherwise if the client seeks the assistance of a solicitor for the legitimate purpose of being defended against a criminal charge or other proceedings brought against him upon acts already committed…

In [Greenough] Lord Brougham upholds the privilege of a solicitor, established “out of regard to the interests of justice,” to refuse to disclose matters which have come to his knowledge in the conduct of professional business for his client, even though such business had no reference to legal proceedings either existing or in contemplation – a proviso which apparently had then been in question – but he gives several exceptions…

This privilege is the privilege of the client, as has been often explained, and is an absolute privilege in the sense that if the relation from which it arises is established, the matters which occurred during its continuance cannot be inquired into…

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