Federal Constitutional Court Draws Formal Limits to the Prohibition of Seizure of Evidence on Lawyers’ Premises

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The protection from seizure by law enforcement, which the client-attorney privilege affords to the findings gathered by lawyers who are commissioned with internal investigations at businesses, has narrow limits. The affiliate of a law firm’s client has been denied protection from seizure by the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), highlighting the crucial role played by the actual existence of a client-attorney relationship.1 This adds merit to the coalition government’s declared intention to create special rules for internal investigations.