In-house counsel in Europe and the U.S. are fuming after a top European court ruled that full attorney-client privilege does not apply to European in-house lawyers in antitrust investigations, according to Bloomberg and the U.K. publication Legal Week.
The case at issue concerned a 2003 investigation by the European Commission, the European Union’s antitrust authority, into alleged anti-competitive behavior at the U.K. offices of the Dutch chemicals company Akzo Nobel. Investigators raided the company’s offices in Manchester and seized lots of documents, including communications from Akzo’s in-house legal team the company claimed should be protected by attorney-client privilege, according to Bloomberg, Legal Week and this useful overview of the case from the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Corporate Counsel. The commission disagreed, saying the privilege did not apply to the in-house lawyers, since they were Akzo employees and thus part of the larger company rather than independent counsel.
This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.
To view this content, please continue to their sites.
LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.
For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]