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Corporate counsel conducting investigations in the United States are accustomed to unfettered access to employees’ company email and data without much limitation. When investigations involve data and documents created or received by overseas personnel, however, starkly different procedures may apply. Counsel must be sensitive to local rules governing both the “processing” of such data (a term that encompasses everything from collection through culling and review) and its transfer out of the country, particularly to the United States. This article discusses the principal rules to which counsel must refer prior to conducting overseas document collection and before transporting or transmitting any documents or data collected to the United States, as well as the collateral consequences of a decision to transfer documents to the United States.

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