The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) has ruled to return documents obtained via a dawn raid on the basis that the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege (Decision Number 15-42/690-259, 2 December 2015). The Board ruled that the privilege includes correspondence between outside counsel and clients, which do not have employer-employee relationship. However, correspondence which has no direct relation to the right of defense and which helps or covers a violation is not included, even if it is related to a pre-investigation, investigation or examination.

The Board outlined the framework for attorney-client privilege in an earlier decision which established a precedent for the Board’s future analysis of the privilege, in line with European competition laws (Decision Number 09-16/374-88, 20 April 2004).

The primary goal of attorney-client privilege is to protect the right to defense. The Board defines the privilege as applying to communication between enterprises or individuals with their attorneys. It includes correspondence and information given within the scope of consultancy services. Such information is protected and can resist compulsory disclosure.

Please see this link for full text of the decision (only available in Turkish).

Authored by Bora İkiler.