Disclosures to Independent Auditors – What's the Risk of Waiver?


5 things about attorney-client privilege and work product protection that you should consider during your next audit

It is unavoidable – public companies must disclose sufficient information to allow an independent accounting firm to perform the financial statement audits necessary for compliance with federal securities laws. The recent decision in United States v. Deloitte LLP, No. 09-5171, 2010 WL 2572965 (D.C. Cir. June 29, 2010) highlights the risks of such disclosures, and the fact that jurisdictions take a variety of distinct approaches when addressing the confidentiality of materials disclosed to auditors. As soon as you find yourself answering an outside auditor's questions about specific litigation risk, your warning bells should go off. Here is a checklist of five things to consider...

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