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London High Court strikes a blow to litigation privilege

Jaclyn Jaeger | May 19, 2017

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office this month won a victory in a landmark decision by the English High Court of Justice, limiting the application of litigation privilege in criminal investigations.

In the case, Director of the Serious Fraud Office v. Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, Justice Andrews found in favor of the SFO, which had challenged an assertion made by global natural resources company ENRC that certain documents generated in the context of an internal investigation were privileged and, thus, did not need to be handed over to prosecutors.

In 2011, ENRC launched an internal investigation in response to allegations of potential fraud, bribery, and corruption in Kazakhstan and Africa. In 2013, the SFO commenced a criminal investigation into these activities. As part of its investigation, the SFO issued notices to ENRC to produce documents relevant to the investigation, exercising... To get the full story, subscribe now.