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in house lawyers have had a difficult time of it before the European courts recently

20 December 2012

First there was ECJ decision in Akzo Nobel suggesting that advice from in house counsel on competition issues would not be subject to legal advice privilege (creating a practical problem for in house lawyers advising their employer on competition issues).

Then in May the first instance court of the European Union took the view that in house counsel should not be able to plead proceedings before it - a judgement that was appealed in August.

Last week The Law Society published its letter to Ken Clarke, urging him to intervene in the appeal - but could an intervention really prevent the erosion of the in house lawyer's role before the European Courts, now that Akzo Nobel has set a precedent? Should the appeal fail its likely to have profound consequences for in house lawyers.

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