Background to the case In 2003, the European Commission (acting as a competition authority) conducted an investigation into Akzo-Nobel Chemicals Ltd (“Akzo”) and Akcros Chemicals Ltd (“Akcros”). This included a search of Akzo and Akcros’ UK premises, during which the authorities took photocopies of documents that Akzo and Akcros argued were protected by legal professional privilege. Among the documents were two internal email exchanges involving an Akzo in-house lawyer.

The two companies brought proceedings before the European Court of First Instance against the Commission’s decision to take copies of the disputed documents. The Court of First Instance dismissed the appeal as unfounded, following the reasoning set out in earlier EU case law that made it clear that legal professional privilege is only available where the lawyer is independent and not bound to his or her client by a relationship of employment.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Reed Smith | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Reed Smith on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.