Skip to content

How PE Firms Can Minimize Attorney-Client Privilege Risks

By Ari Berman and Laurel Fensterstock

The attorney-client privilege is the oldest among the common-law evidentiary privileges and protects confidential communications between a client and its attorney made for the purpose of obtaining or providing legal advice. (Courts’ analyses of the attorney-client privilege vary according to state and there can be important, and outcome-determinative, differences among states. This article is intended to provide a general overview of key principles associated with the privilege as well as those principles’ application within the private equity context.)

The purpose of the privilege is to encourage full and frank dialogue between lawyers and clients, and communications protected by the privilege need not be disclosed in litigation. Upjohn Co. v. United States, 449 U.S. 383, 389, 101 S. Ct. 677, 682, 66 L. Ed. 2d 584 (1981); Spectrum Systems International Corp. v. Chemical Bank, 78 N.Y.2d 371, 377, 581 N.E.2d 1055, 1059 (1991). Read the entire article here.

This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.