Attorney-Client Privilege Internal Investigations

News & Analysis as of

United Kingdom: handling internal investigations

With so much potentially at stake, the initial steps and strategic decisions taken in any company investigation are critical to setting the tone for a focused, credible and effective inquiry. This is paramount not only for...more

Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege And Work Product Doctrine In Internal Investigations Clarified

The scope of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine for internal investigation reports has once again been clarified by the D.C. Circuit in a False Claims Act case against defense contractor KBR, Inc. In its...more

Internal Investigation Documents Are Protected from Disclosure in False Claims Act Case, D.C. Circuit Holds

Reversing a lower court decision, the D.C. Circuit recently concluded – for a second time – that certain internal audit documents are protected from disclosure by the attorney-client communication and work production...more

D.C. Circuit Declines to Eviscerate Attorney-Client Privilege in Internal Investigations

On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, in United States ex rel. Barko v. Haliburton et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion vacating a series of rulings by the United States District Court for the...more

D.C. Circuit Confirms: Attorney-Client Privilege Applies to Internal Investigations of Whistleblower Complaints Conducted at the...

The ability to preserve privilege for highly sensitive internal investigations conducted at the direction of attorneys is alive and well. In a closely watched decision on the scope of the attorney-client privilege as applied...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Attorney-Client Privilege Again in In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc.

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a petition by Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. (“KBR”) for a writ of mandamus in order to protect KBR’s assertion of attorney-client privilege over its...more

D.C. Circuit Reaffirms Validity of Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Protection in Internal Investigations

On August 11, 2015, in United States ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton et al., No. 14-5319, slip op. (D.C. Cir. Aug. 11, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an important opinion vacating another series of...more

Appeals Court Clarifies Attorney-Client, Work Product Privileges in Internal Investigation Context: 3 Takeaways

In its latest review of the attorney-client and work product privileges in In re: Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. (“In re KBR”), the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit again rejected the district court’s restrictive...more

Appeals Court Decision Protects Attorney-Client Privilege in Internal Investigation

In In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., et al., No. 14-5319 (D.C. Cir. August 11, 2015), the Court reversed a district court’s ruling that KBR waived these protections by using materials created in the course of a privileged...more

DC Circuit reaffirms confidentiality of internal investigation communications

For the second time in 14 months, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has taken the extraordinary step of issuing a writ of mandamus to stop a federal district court from requiring a federal government contractor to...more

D.C. Circuit Weighs In Once Again in KBR Privilege Fight

In the ongoing saga which has been the subject of a previous post on this blog, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has once again found that the district court erred in ordering the production of the...more

Privileged No More: Court Finds Attorney-Client Privilege Does Not Survive After “Death” of a Corporation

The attorney-client privilege is one of the most powerful arrows in the quiver of corporate counsel because of the sheer volume of different situations in which it can be used. The privilege comes in handy for corporate...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Awards Another Whistleblowing Compliance Officer - On April 22, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an award between $1.4 and $1.6 million to a compliance officer who provided information...more

Internal Investigations: The Three C’s – Confidence. Credibility. Cost.

In this issue: - THE THREE C’S — CONFIDENCE, CREDIBILITY AND COST - WHO CONDUCTS THE INVESTIGATION? - SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION - MINDSET AT THE OUTSET OF AN INVESTIGATION - THE NEED FOR...more

The Ethics of Internal Investigations, Domestic and Abroad: Protecting the Attorney Client Privilege during Internal...

The attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine are two of the oldest and most sacrosanct privileges in the law. The attorney-client privilege protects the functioning of the attorney and client...more

Internal Investigations: Do No Harm

Internal investigations are an ever-present challenge for companies. They can involve virtually any topic and arise in myriad ways.  Embezzlement, accounting improprieties, bribery, and financial statement adjustments can all...more

Court Condemns Law Firm's Privilege Claim as "Subterfuge": Part I

Some companies begin internal investigations or audits for business reasons, but later try to cloak related communications and documents with work product privilege protection. ...more

Carefully Draft NDAs to Avoid Whistleblower Concerns

In light of the SEC’s first enforcement action against a company for impeding whistleblower activity in violation of Rule 21F-17, employers may wish to consider clarifying in their agreements, policies and practices that...more

Letter From America: Internal investigations – a stark reminder of the dangers of failing to implement strict protocols from the...

A recent ruling in long-running civil litigation against the Bank of China (“BOC”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York provides a stark reminder of the dangers of failing to develop and...more

District court limits application of privilege in internal investigations

The Southern District of New York offered a strong rebuke to defendant Bank of China (BOC) in a discovery dispute, finding that documents created as part of an internal investigation into potential terrorist activities of a...more

Implied Waiver of Privilege in Internal Investigations: Barko Court Compels Production of Internal Investigation Documents, Again

On November 20, 2014, the District Court for the District of Columbia once again ordered Kellogg, Brown and Root (“KBR”) to produce all documents prepared as part of an internal investigation.  The District Court’s decision...more

How to Protect Attorney-client Privilege in Internal Investigations

While attorney-client privilege can protect many internal documents, recent court decisions highlight the need to explicitly invoke this protection. As many US policies now require an increased level of internal...more

D.C. Circuit Court Expands Privilege in Internal Corporate Investigations

There are numerous federal regulations requiring investigations into possible fraud, related to both mandatory disclosure and simply performing some fact gathering while seeking legal advice. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the...more

What Does Delaware’s Wal-Mart Decision Mean for Attorney-Client Privilege and Internal Investigations?

The Delaware Supreme Court recently came to a decision in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW to uphold the order given by the Delaware Court of Chancery to require Wal-Mart to give the...more

Protecting Internal Investigations from Disclosure: Suggested Best Practices

A recent case out of the D.C. Circuit highlights some best practices that can boost the odds that the attorney-client and work product protections will shield internal investigation records. Although not precedential outside...more

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