Privilege: a bar to privilege
Companies operating in different legal systems rely heavily on in-house counsel to explain the risks arising from different legal regimes. In some jurisdictions, these in-house counsel may not be members of a formal Bar and their internal communications may not, under local law, have a formally 'privileged' status. On a day-to-day basis, the 'privileged' status of an in-house counsel's communications may be irrelevant - the internal counsel advises his or her client, who makes decisions based on that legal advice. The distinctions can become critical, however, when a multinational company finds itself engaged in litigation (or the subject of a regulatory investigation), particularly if the litigation occurs in a jurisdiction that allows liberal document disclosure.
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