Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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What are the implications of In Re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. on privilege concerns in an internal investigation?

By Hogan Lovells LLP

10 July 2014

While companies can breathe a sigh of relief following the D.C. Circuit Court’s recent unanimous ruling in In Re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., overturning the District Court’s decision in U.S., ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton Co., there are precautions companies should take to reduce the risk of disclosure of privileged materials generated during internal investigations. While the D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling reinforced the strength of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine in the District of Columbia, the lower court’s narrow construction of these protections nevertheless demonstrates the importance of simple precautions companies should consider when undertaking internal investigations in order to reduce the risk of privilege disputes.