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ENRC v SFO: Privilege Rebuilt - Helen Simm, Browne Jacobson LLP

21/03/19. On Wednesday 6 September 2018, one of the most awaited court judgments in recent times was handed down by the Court of Appeal. The judgment impacts on any entity conducting internal investigations for the purposes of litigation or seeking legal advice.


In 2010, mining giant ENRC received an email containing allegations of apparent fraud, bribery and corruption relating to operations in Kazakhstan. External lawyers were instructed to conduct an internal investigation. After a number of meetings with ENRC, during which the progress of the internal investigation was discussed, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) opened a criminal investigation.

The SFO subsequently sought to compel the production of a number of documents generated by ENRC and their lawyers during the internal investigation. ENRC refused to disclose four categories of documents on the basis that they were protected by...

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