Tag Archives: Serious Fraud Office

ILN Today Post

The SFO v ENRC: Erosion of fundamental rights and dangerous precedent or a valid aid to law enforcement?

Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd (ENRC) has been granted permission to appeal the controversial ruling in Serious Fraud Office (SFO) v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd [2017] EWHC 1017 (QB)  which sent shock waves through the legal profession earlier this year.

The appealed decision held that certain documents generated during an internal investigation conducted by lawyers into allegations of bribery and corruption were not protected by litigation privilege, and therefore could be used by the SFO in the prosecution of alleged offenders. With corporations being encouraged to police their operations and to put in place systems to protect them from abuse, the decision was seen as unhelpful by some in that it might discourage openness within organisations and restrict access to legal advice.

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ILN Today Post

Internal investigations and the limits of privilege

The High Court recently ruled, in a landmark case brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), that the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) must hand over documents generated by an internal investigation by the company, including notes taken by lawyers of interviews with ENRC’s employees.

The SFO’s application was made in the course of its ongoing criminal investigation relating to ENRC’s activities in Kazakhstan and Africa. As part of its investigation, the SFO sought to compel ENRC to produce a range of documents which ENRC claimed were protected by litigation privilege. However, ENRC’s argument failed at the first hurdle.

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