UK: Court of Appeal moves to protect Legal Professional Privilege

The Court of Appeal has handed down its much-anticipated judgment in the case of The Director of the Serious Fraud Office v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 2006. The judgment can be found here. The judgment represents a key judicial interpretation of the boundaries of litigation privilege, particularly in the context of a criminal investigation into corporate wrongdoing.

Most importantly, the Court of Appeal agreed with ENRC that the majority of the documents in question (including notes of interviews with company employees prepared by ENRC’s lawyers) were protected by litigation privilege and therefore protected from disclosure. In addition, the Court of Appeal overturned arguably the most controversial aspect of the first instance decision and found that litigation privilege can attach, even if a formal criminal investigation has not been commenced by the UK authorities.

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