Confidentiality of legal advice: why banks and other large companies could be discouraged from carrying out internal investigations

Confidentiality of legal advice: why banks and other large companies could be discouraged from carrying out internal investigations

Banks could be discouraged from carrying out internal investigations because of controversial limitations on whether or not legal advice can be kept confidential. Some senior judges are now calling for changes to the law, reports Financial News.

It is well-established that advice given by lawyers to their clients is protected by legal privilege. This means that a client cannot be forced to disclose the details of such advice to anybody, including other lawyers or the courts themselves. However, the scope of this rule may be narrowing. Large companies (such as banks) can find themselves being effectively penalised for conducting internal investigations into suspected fraud or wrongdoing that later come to court. This could discourage companies from undertaking such investigations in the first place.

Read More