Legal privilege in EU and UK competition cases
Legal privilege in EU and UK competition cases

The following Competition guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Legal privilege in EU and UK competition cases
  • Why is legal privilege important?
  • EU legal privilege
  • EU legal privilege—quick reference guide
  • English legal privilege

BREXIT: The law and practice referred to in this Practice Note may be impacted by Brexit. For further information on the potential impact, see: The effect of Brexit on UK competition law in a deal or no deal scenario.

Legal privilege is the main means by which a company can resist disclosure of a confidential communication or document to a third party such as a competition authority or court. Whether or not a communication is privileged will depend on the parties to the communication and the purpose for which the document came into existence. The concept of legal privilege can differ, sometimes markedly, depending on the jurisdiction and type of proceeding.

Legal privilege in EU competition cases (EU Legal Privilege) and UK competition cases (English Legal Privilege) differs in material respects. Different rules may apply as to the scope of privilege under other national laws and there can be differences in the treatment of privilege between administrative proceedings (ie before a competition authority) and court proceedings. In a case involving potential competition issues and investigations in a number of jurisdictions, separate local advice should be sought in order to protect any privilege arising and to seek to ensure that disclosure of communications to one authority does not result in a waiver of privilege for other purposes.

This is a complex area of law