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The EU Court of Justice of rules that legal professional privilege extends to all communications from external counsel

On 8 December 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down a judgment (C-694/20, Orde van Vlaamse Balies) which appears to strengthen the protection afforded by legal professional privilege (“LPP”) under EU law. In its judgment, the CJEU has held for the first time that LPP is based on the right to privacy in addition to the right to a fair trial. Although the ruling concerned notification obligations imposed on tax lawyers, it is likely highly significant for EU competition law as it holds that the right to privacy extends to all communications between external counsel and their clients. Applying this approach in EU competition proceedings would expand the scope of LPP beyond that recognised in the landmark AM&S judgment of 1982, where, based on the right to

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Authors

  • Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
  • Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
  • Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)

Quotation

Margot Vogels, Andreas Reindl, Richard Burton, The EU Court of Justice of rules that legal professional privilege extends to all communications from external counsel, 8 December 2022, e-Competitions Preview, Art. N° 110699

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