November 11, 2014 Articles

Illinois Appeals Court Reinterprets Aspects of Accountant-Client Privilege

The court rejected a line of federal cases that generally have been considered authoritative on the matter.

By Dana S. Douglas and Thomas P. Evans

The Appellate Court of Illinois recently issued an opinion in Brunton v. Kruger that reinterprets who holds the Illinois accountant-client privilege. 2014 Ill. App. 4th 130421, 8 N.E.3d 536 (Mar. 27, 2014), appeal allowed (Sept. 24, 2014), appeal pending (Sept. 2014). The court ruled that the privilege is held by the client rather than the accountant, rejecting a line of federal cases that generally have been considered authoritative on the matter. The Illinois Supreme Court has indicated its intent to hear the case. Meanwhile, Brunton creates uncertainty about whether accountants or clients hold the privilege under Illinois law.

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