Legal Business

End of the carrot and stick? Litigators react to legal privilege implications in SFO case

Last month the High Court ruled that documents prepared by mining giant Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) relating to a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation were not protected by legal professional privilege.

The SFO began investigating ENRC in 2013 over allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption. As part of its investigation, the agency requested relevant documents from ENRC. ENRC refused on the basis that the documents were privileged. But Mrs Justice Andrews ruled that the SFO was warranted in its request to see the documents, stating that there is a ‘recognised public interest in the SFO being able to go about its business’.