Amsterdam, the Netherlands, September 17, 2007 — Akzo Nobel has today announced the outcome of a court case held in Luxembourg to pass judgment on a number of procedural matters, including the important issue of legal privilege of in-house company lawyers.
The case was brought before the EU Court of First Instance to provide clarity on a range of procedural matters raised during an investigation by the European Commission at Akzo Nobel premises in 2003, when internal company memos were seized.
court today confirmed current case law which states that in-house lawyers may not invoke, under EC competition law, legal privilege in their communications to their in-house clients. This means that companies are not able to keep the legal advice from their in-house lawyers—even if they are members of the bar—confidential from the European Commission.
ruling has no bearing on any substantive pending cases involving Akzo Nobel and therefore has no financial or other substantive impact on Akzo Nobel.
Nobel is studying the court’s ruling and will issue a response in due course should it be deemed appropriate.