Legal privilege: An ethics issue

How can progress be made in the debate over legal privilege for in-house attorneys? With the recent judgment of the European Court of First Instance in the Akzo-Nobel case (currently pending before the Court of Justice), the issue is more pressing than ever. Between the extreme positions expressed on the matter (either complete refusal, or general admission of the concept), there is a moderate, realistic and logical route which links granting legal privilege to acceptance of strict ethics rules for in-house counsel. This is the route taken by EU Member States who, at national level, recognise legal privilege for the in-house lawyers. Let’s hope that, in line with the arguments presented to the Court of Justice in the Akzo-Nobel case, the Court of Justice accepts the principle of legal privilege for this category of lawyers at the EU level.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. 1. In a recent issue of the journal Concurrences [1], the authors of this article, echoing the position expressed by many lawyers' associations, expressed their disappointment about the judgment of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities of 17 September 2007, which refused to recognise legal privilege to communications exchanged with in-house lawyers (Akzo-Nobel case) [2]. 2. It seemed appropriate to supplement these comments with a comparative table of the legal privilege regime in the 27 Member States of the European Union. 3. In order to understand the relevance of such a table [3] and its relation to the Akzo-Nobel decision, it is

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Isabelle Cretenet (Blin), Jean-Charles Savouré, Legal privilege: An ethics issue, September 2008, Concurrences N° 3-2008, Art. N° 20320, pp. 184-185

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