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Inside counsel, even counsel who are bound by codes of ethics and subject to professional discipline, are unable to effectively deal with conflicts between their professional legal obligations and the aims of their client-employers. They are, in other words, incapable of exercising any professional independence, given their employment relationship with their client. So said the European Court of Justice in its recent decision, Akzo Nobel Chemicals v. Commission, Case C-550/07 P that held that the “legal professional privilege” does not apply to communications between organizations and their in-house attorneys.

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