CASE COMMENT : ANTICOMPETITIVE PRACTICES - PROCEDURE - MEASURES OF INQUIRY - COMMISSION’S POWERS OF INVESTIGATION - LEGAL PRIVILEGE - CONFIDENTIALITY OF ATTORNEY COMMUNICATIONS

Legal privilege : The ECJ refuses to extend the confidentiality conferred upon attorney/client communications to in-house lawyers (Akzo)

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article in French, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. Facts In the context of a competition investigation procedure, a Dutch company had invoked with the Commission the rule of confidentiality of lawyer-client correspondence in respect of communications it had exchanged with its in-house lawyer. The Commission and then the Court of First Instance [1]had rejected the application of the principle of confidentiality to those communications. The Court of Justice confirms this solution by holding that exchanges within a company with an in-house lawyer do not benefit from the confidentiality of communications between clients and lawyers. Decision 41 In this regard, the Court stressed that, on the one

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Marie Koehler de Montblanc, Legal privilege : The ECJ refuses to extend the confidentiality conferred upon attorney/client communications to in-house lawyers (Akzo), 14 September 2010, Concurrences N° 4-2010, Art. N° 34009, www.concurrences.com

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