The Protection of Confidentiality or Legal Privilege for In-house Counsel in Europe
Jean-Philippe Carriere, Group General Counsel, SEITA / ALTADIS, France
The protection of the confidentiality and legal privilege against use of communications between a corporation and its in-house legal advisers is an important issue for the implementation of successful business strategies. Corporations should not be discouraged from seeking advice from their in-house counsels about their business and compliance with the applicable laws and regulations. The United States Supreme Court asserted long ago that the purpose of the rule of attorney-client privilege is to "encourage clients to make full disclosures to their attorneys". It therefore protects the confidentiality of communications between corporate clients both with their external and internal lawyers. This paper sets forth the latest developments with respect to the rule of legal privilege for in house counsels in Europe and seeks to identity avenues of improvement.
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