The EU Court of Justice rules that legal professional privilege does not cover communications between in-house lawyers and other employees at a company (Akzo Novel Chemicals)

INTRODUCTION On 14 September 2010, the Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union (“EU”), ruled that, in the context of EU competition law investigations, legal professional privilege (“LPP”) does not cover communications between in-house lawyers and other employees at a company, even where the lawyer is a member of a bar in an EU Member State. [1] The Court therefore confirmed its 1982 ruling in the AM&S case. The long-anticipated judgment resulted from an appeal lodged by Akzo Nobel against the judgment of the Court of First Instance (now called the General Court) of 17 September 2007, [2] in which the General Court had held that, in the context of EU competition law investigations, LPP covers only communications between a client and outside counsel admitted to a

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Johan Ysewyn, The EU Court of Justice rules that legal professional privilege does not cover communications between in-house lawyers and other employees at a company (Akzo Novel Chemicals), 14 September 2010, e-Competitions Due Process Research Program, Art. N° 96845

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