Welcome to DLA Piper's Legal Professional Privilege Global Guide, the ultimate guide to legal professional privilege around the world.

Legal professional privilege protects the confidentiality of communications between lawyers and their clients and it has become an exception to the general principle of public policy for full disclosure. It is, in substance, a fundamental human right.

Although the concept of legal professional privilege is universal, its scope and limitation differ between jurisdictions. We are aware that many of our clients operate on a global platform, so it is of critical importance that they are aware of these differences in order to make informed decisions about the countries in which they are active and about how their business interests may be protected.

This global guide is a dynamic resource containing up-to-date details of the varying concepts and scope of legal professional privilege across dozens of jurisdictions globally. New jurisdictions are regularly being added to the guide, so if you cannot find the jurisdiction you are seeking, please let us know.

How to use this guide

Let us provide a few examples:

1. You are a Compliance Director for a listed company located in Country A and you have found that problematic conduct has occurred within your subsidiary in Country B.

Scenario A: You are about to send an e-mail to your in-house colleague in Country B with a legal assessment of the conduct in question. Before you push the button, you think about the scope of legal privilege. You will ask yourself: "Does Country B protect in-house lawyer communications? Or can my e-mail be seized by inspectors or discovered in court?" Our guide provides a first answer.

Scenario B: You plan to forward the legal advice received from DLA Piper to your colleague in Country B. Then you ask yourself the following question: "What is the scope of legal privilege in Country B?" Indeed, virtually all jurisdictions recognize the concept of privilege, but there is a big difference in terms of when privilege applies (e.g. only after the start of an investigation) and how broad is the scope. Again, our guide provides a first answer.

2. You are a freshly appointed Compliance Director for your internationally active company, and no clouds darken your horizon - yet. Before launching a new communications policy, you want to find out about the underlying privilege issues. Our guide provides initial guidance for your strategic legal communications and planning, and will help shape your strategy for sourcing and storing legal advice.

But remember, our Legal Professional Privilege Global Guide does not constitute legal advice. While this guide will be essential reading for those who need to find out more about the scope of legal professional privilege around the world, it is imperative that you contact the contributors to the individual chapters for more comprehensive guidance and legal advice in your particular case.

About DLA Piper

DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, positioning us to help clients with their legal needs around the world.

For further information visit www.dlapiper.com