Insurance Counsel and the Attorney-Client Privilege: Who Is the Client?

, The Legal Intelligencer


When an insurance company selects and pays a lawyer to defend an insured policyholder, whom does the lawyer represent?

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What's being said

  • Mike

    "If insured and insurer are joint clients of the lawyer, the insured should be aware that its communications with counsel may not be privileged vis-à-vis the insurer." If the client holds the privilege, doesn't the client's lawyer have a duty to preserve the privilege? Would the lawyer have a duty to advise the insured/client that communications were not privileged where there was a possibility that the privilege might waived or lost somehow? Would it be the rare case where the insurer and insured are both clients? Would the lawyer have to advise the client that the representation would be impaired if privileged communications were not privileged? Would a lawyer in the situation be competent to represent either client?

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