Something’s Gotta Give: Navigating Auditor Inquiries in Investigations (Part Two of Two)

The tension between auditors requesting investigation documents and attorneys who hold those documents is understandable, but at some point, something has to give and balance should be restored in a manner that honors both sets of obligations, William Semins, Brian Saulnier, and Travis Gery, attorneys at K&L Gates, argue in this two-part guest series. In the first part, they explored auditor inquiries, lawyer responses to those inquiries in the context of investigations, and the standards applicable to that interaction.  They further examined the conflict that may arise between the auditor’s desire for documents and information relating to an internal investigation and the lawyer’s desire to avoid waiver of attorney-client privilege and work product protection, putting our mutual client in the middle of that struggle. In this second part, they look at how uncertain (if not conflicting) case law underscores the risk of waiver of applicable protections and provide some tips to help lawyers guard against waiver. See “Tips for How In-House Counsel Can Navigate Typical Ethical Dilemmas and Conflicts of Interest”  (Aug. 17, 2022).

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