Understanding Privilege In UK Internal Investigations

Law360, New York (May 11, 2017, 12:35 PM EDT) -- U.S. lawyers conducting internal investigations in the U.K. beware: A British assault on attorney-client privilege in the corporate investigations context means familiar U.S. privilege protections may not apply.

In 2014, the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office published its Deferred Prosecution Agreement Code of Practice, spelling out that the office would measure a company’s cooperation by its willingness to waive privilege and disclose witness accounts and other documents developed during an internal investigation. In discussing privilege in the investigations context, the SFO’s general director, David Green, warned companies that the SFO would not only challenge privilege claims it considered unfounded, but viewed such...

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