Jonathan Fisher QC, leading the SFO team in SFO v ENRC achieved a landmark ruling today on the issue of legal professional privilege

May 9, 2017

On 25th April 2013 the SFO announced that they were conducting a criminal investigation into ENRC Ltd following corruption allegations against the company in relation to three sets of transactions between 2010 and 2012, through which ENRC acquired five mining projects in Congo. 

Documents in relation to these transactions were required to investigate the matter, however ENRC held that the material was covered by legal professional privilege. 

On 8th May 2017 Mrs Justice Andrews ruled that ENRC should release the documents to the SFO.

“The judge’s ruling means that although the company anticipated a raid by officials and a criminal investigation, this did not constitute “contemplation of adversarial litigation”.  If the communication is between client (or the client’s agent) and lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice in connection with anticipated litigation, it is covered by legal advice privilege rather than litigation privilege”.

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