AKZO Decision in EU Court of Justice Restricts Legal Professional Privilege

The Court of Justice of the European Union today released a decision in Akzo Nobel Chemicals Ltd. V. EU (Case-550/07), restricting legal professional privilege in communications between in-house counsel and their clients in European Community competition law matters. ACC, an Intervenor on the case since 2007, issued a press release stating the ruling undermines corporate compliance in multinational companies, and has posted on its AKZO issues web page analysis and practical steps for law departments operating in this legal realm. ACC will continue work with members to correct the “outdated and unfounded presumptions” reflected in this decision.