Can a client waive privilege over the legal advice given to them by their lawyer regarding a real estate transaction?

Alberta, Canada


The following excerpt is from Nixon v. Timms, 2012 ABQB 65 (CanLII):

There are numerous cases in which clients waive privilege not over just instructions but also over the legal advice related to those instructions. As noted, this is not such a case. Neither for example is Hansen v. Stierle, also arising from a real estate transaction. In that case a party testified in discovery regarding instructions to its lawyer, but refused on the basis of solicitor‑client privilege to testify regarding any legal opinions around the same transaction. Melnick J. held privilege was waived regarding the instructions but was not satisfied on the evidence that any waiver extended to opinions given in connection with the transaction. As here, the refusing party in Hansen v. Stierle did nothing to put the lawyer's legal advice in issue.

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