ACC Urges Illinois Supreme Court to Protect Attorney-Client Privilege in Business Negotiations

Appellate Court's Legal Ruling Threatens to Upend Role of Counsel  In Complex Business Transactions

Posted: Jan 26, 2012

Washington, D.C. (January 26, 2012) – The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) filed an amicus curiae brief on an improper waiver of attorney-client privilege in an Illinois appellate court decision.  The brief urges the Illinois Supreme Court to correct the intermediate appellate court's erroneous decision that the sharing of legal advice, regarding certain aspects of a business transaction, results in a waiver of privilege protection for all related, confidential information and legal advice.

“Unless the Illinois Supreme Court clarifies the true scope of the subject matter waiver doctrine, Illinois may become a place counsel and their clients won’t be free to have open conversations about complex negotiations,” states Veta T. Richardson, ACC’s President & CEO.  Richardson explains, “As principal advisors who are counseling clients on increasingly sophisticated business negotiations, in-house counsel have a strong interest in ensuring that a distortion of the subject matter waiver doctrine doesn't prevent their corporate clients from seeking their advice and assistance."

”The amicus brief, filed by ACC and the Illinois State Bar Association, describes conflicts that the lower court's decision has generated with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. In addition, the brief argues that leaving the decision undisturbed would undermine the durable framework of the attorney-client privilege, the cornerstone of the attorney-client relationship. To read the ACC amicus brief, visit

About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world’s largest organization serving the professional and business interests of lawyers who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations and other private-sector organizations around the globe. ACC promotes the common interests of its members, provides resources to help save time, money and effort, contributes to their continuing education and provides a voice on issues of global importance. With more than 29,000 members in more than 75 countries, employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.®  For more information, visit

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