European Court of Justice Rejects Attorney-Client Privilege Claim for Inside Counsel
The Akzo Nobel ruling is out from the European Court of Justice, and rejects the attorney-client privilege claim for activities of inside counsel as related to claims regarding unfair competition. The opinion is here. Go here for a Law.com article with predictable quotes from corporate counsel upset about losing secrecy.
The quotes from corporate groups emphasize that the ruling arises in the context of a competition case. That’s true, but the rationale and language of the opinion focus on the conclusion that inside counsel face business pressures and constraints that limit their actual independence. The quotes do not explain how that rationale will be avoided in cases that arise in other substantive areas.