Data Protection Act 2018

Privileged legal material

151. (1) Where a controller or processor, when requested under this Part to produce information, or provide access to it, refuses to do so on the grounds that the information contains privileged legal material, the Commission or an authorised officer may, at any time within 28 days or such longer period as the High Court may allow of the date of such refusal, apply to the High Court for a determination as to whether the information, or any part of the information, is privileged legal material where—

(a) in relation to the information concerned—

(i) the Commission or authorised officer has reasonable grounds for believing that it is not privileged legal material, or

(ii) due to the manner or extent to which such information is presented together with any other information, it is impossible or impractical to extract only such information,


(b) the Commission or authorised officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that the information contains evidence relating to an infringement of a relevant enactment or a relevant provision.

(2) A controller or processor referred to in subsection (1) who refuses to produce information or provide access to it on the grounds that the information contains privileged legal material shall preserve the information and keep it in a safe and secure place and manner pending the determination of an application under subsection (1) and shall, if the information is so determined not to be privileged legal material, produce it in accordance with such order as the High Court considers appropriate.

(3) A person shall be considered to have complied with the requirement under subsection (2) to preserve information where the person has complied with such requirements as may be imposed by an authorised officer under paragraph (d) of section 130 (1).

(4) Where an application is made by the Commission or an authorised officer under subsection (1), the High Court may give such interim or interlocutory directions as it considers appropriate including, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, directions as to the appointment of a person with suitable legal qualifications possessing the level of experience and independence from any interest falling to be determined between the parties concerned, that the Court considers to be appropriate for the purpose of—

(a) examining the information, and

(b) preparing a report for the Court with a view to assisting or facilitating the Court in the making of its determination as to whether the information is privileged legal material.

(5) An application under subsection (1) shall be by motion and may, if so directed, be heard otherwise than in public.