A U.K. appeals court on Wednesday overturned a decision forcing a Kazakh mining company to hand over documents to prosecutors who are investigating the firm for corruption, marking a decisive victory for law firms helping firms manage fraud and bribery cases.
The ruling means that Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. no longer has to provide the files, which it claims are subject to attorney-client privilege, to prosecutors. A London judge had ruled in May 2017 that three of four categories of documents sought by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office must be turned over.
The case sets a precedent with implications for companies and lawyers beyond ENRC and pulls the U.K. closer to U.S. rules. The privilege could protect communications containing confidential advice between a client and attorney — and other materials prepared for possible litigation — from being disclosed.
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