15 SEP 2010
By Julianne O'Leary | Guardian (Privilege judgment is an unjustified blow to in-house lawyers)
In a much anticipated judgment, the European court of justice (ECJ) has ruled that legal privilege does not extend to the advice of in-house lawyers in antitrust cases. In so doing the court did not take the opportunity to reconsider the application of legal privilege to the antitrust advice given by in-house lawyers.
In this context, legal privilege relates to the extent to which companies can prevent disclosure of documents in antitrust investigations on the grounds that they are privileged legal advice.
Legal privilege is a well-recognised concept. It reflects the fundamental right that everyone should have to receive legal advice without fear that the information disclosed to the lawyer and/or the lawyer's advice could be used against them. The question for the court was whether the right to privilege extends to the advice of in-house lawyers.
Read entire article