The European Court of First Instance refuses to extend the protection of legal privilege in connection with European competition investigations to communications between companies and their in‐house lawyers (Akzo Nobel)

The second‐highest court in Europe ruled recently that attorney‐client privilege does not apply to certain communications between companies and their in‐house counsel. In its ruling in Akzo Nobel Chemicals Limited v. Commission on 17 September 2007, the European Court of First Instance (ʺthe Courtʺ) has refused to extend the protection of legal privilege in connection with European competition investigations to communications between companies and their in‐house lawyers. In an antitrust case, a Dutch chemical company and lawyersʹ groups sought to exclude from evidence documents seized in a 2003 dawn investigatory raid of Akzo Nobelʹs offices in Manchester, England, arguing that attorney‐client privilege applied. The documents, over which the protection of attorney‐client privilege was

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Philippe Bouchez El Ghozi, Donna Goldsworthy, Miranda Thomas, The European Court of First Instance refuses to extend the protection of legal privilege in connection with European competition investigations to communications between companies and their in‐house lawyers (Akzo Nobel), 12 September 2007, e-Competitions Bulletin September 2007, Art. N° 74797

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