The Law Society of England and Wales (Law Society), the American Bar Association and several other legal and business associations received a blow on 5 February 2009, when the European Court of Justice dismissed their applications to intervene in the Akzo Nobel case (C-550/07). The associations sought to intervene on questions raised on the question of whether documents seized by the European Commission during an investigation should have been covered by the rights of legal professional privilege. A high level of controversy surrounds for instance whether correspondence with in-house legal counsel should be accorded the same level of professional privilege as correspondence with external legal advisors and this case has attracted considerable attention from lawyers and businesses. However, the ECJ was not persuaded that the associations had sufficiently demonstrated that they and their members had a sufficiently direct interest in the result of the case. The Law Society is a member of the Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the EU, which is already a party to the appeal.