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Landmark High Court win for the SFO

28 Ionawr, 2016 | Eitemau newyddion

The High Court yesterday ruled in favour of the SFO over the way it handles the identification of material potentially subject to Legal Professional Privilege (LPP).

This significant ruling follows a challenge at the High Court by an individual, Colin McKenzie, who is the subject of an SFO investigation.

Mr McKenzie claimed that the SFO’s procedure, as set out in the SFO’s Operational Handbook and the Attorney General’s Supplementary Guidelines on Digitally Stored Material (2011) (which appear as an Annex to the 2013 Guidelines on Disclosure), for isolating material potentially subject to LPP, for the purpose of making it available to an independent lawyer for review, is unlawful.

The High Court disagreed. It held that that the SFO’s use of in-house technical experts to isolate material potentially subject to LPP was lawful and that it did not therefore need rely on external contractors to do this work. This judgment is significant both to the SFO and other law enforcement bodies.

For the full judgment please visit the Judiciary website. The SFO was awarded its costs and was represented in court by Jonathan Hall QC of 6KBW College Hill and James Segan of Blackstone Chambers.