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Attorney-Client Privilege Extends to Accountants Retained by Legal Counsel

Volume 6 No 1   |   Read Article

By Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman

Over time, the attorney-client privilege, which protects information disclosed by a client, has been extended to include certain client communications to accountants retained by legal counsel to provide input regarding the application of accounting rules. However, the privilege does not apply when a client retains the accountant prepare tax returns. In U.S. v. Adams, the I.R.S. challenged the extension of the privilege to an accountant who provided advice to the client’s defense counsel and later prepared U.S. tax returns for the client. The decision likely satisfies neither the I.R.S. nor the taxpayer. Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman explain the I.R.S. challenge and the Solomon-like solution reached by the court.  See more →