Law Society urges government to reconsider refusal to intervene in case on in-house lawyer privilege

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By Legal Futures

7 December 2011

Wotton: profound disappointment at the government's decision

The Law Society has urged the government to reconsider a decision not to intervene in a European case that Chancery Lane claims opens up a new front in the battle over for whether companies can claim legal professional privilege for dealings with their in-house lawyers.

It warns that the case could be used to curtail the rights of UK companies to use in-house lawyers in respect of European law matters.

In a letter to justice secretary Ken Clarke, society president John Wotton expressed his “profound disappointment” at the decision and said the government was wrong to suggest the case has no domestic implications.

In August, in the case of Prezes Urzedu Komunikacji Electronicznej, the General Court of the European Union rejected as inadmissible a party’s application purely on the ground that it was using in-house lawyers to present the case.

It based this decision on what the society argues is “a narrow reading of article 19 of the court’s statute”

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