This is a good piece on the Herbert Smith Freehills blog here. The High Court has granted an application by a claimant state for orders that the defendant bank disclose an accounting firm’s investigation report (and associated documents) originally withheld from disclosure on the grounds of litigation privilege, as well as to disclose certain categories of documents on a Model E or “train of enquiry” basis and make further enquiries for “known adverse documents”: State of Qatar v Banque Havilland SA and others [2021] EWHC 2172 (Comm).

I think this is a very interesting point and quite worrying for corporate clients in my opinion.  

The fact that the investigation reports may not be protected by privilege is obviously a legal point of discussion, but this definitely needs to be taken into account when undertaking and scoping out an investigation. My colleagues, Daniel Barton, Chris Phillips and Lee Betteridge would no doubt have an opinion on this from an investigation point of view.

But also, from a disclosure perspective this decision and how it is managed will weigh on how documents are managed and handled in any disclosure exercise moving forward.