LONDON (Reuters) – The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) mentioned on Tuesday it might not enchantment a landmark judgment that protects the recommendation a regulation agency gave ENRC, a mining company being investigated by the company over allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption.
In a ruling intently watched by company authorized departments, ENRC final month gained a London enchantment in a dispute concerning the scope of authorized skilled privilege, which ensures recommendation legal professionals give shoppers stays confidential.
ENRC mentioned the Court of Appeal had upheld its declare to privilege for “the overwhelming majority of the documents”, together with witness interview notes ready by regulation agency Dechert and a “books and records” evaluate by forensic accountants.
Lawyers have mentioned the judgment acknowledged that authorized skilled privilege was a basic proper and an essential test on the ability of the state.
The SFO, which has mentioned the details of the case had been advanced, mentioned on Tuesday: “The Director has decided not to seek to appeal the judgment.”
The investigator and prosecutor, which opened a prison investigation into ENRC in 2013, famous that it might proceed to evaluate the deserves of all privilege claims and “remains prepared to challenge those it considers to be ill founded”.
The SFO’s ENRC investigation is targeted on the miner’s acquisition of mineral belongings in Kazakhstan and Africa. The company has denied any wrongdoing.
ENRC didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The miner was taken personal by its three founders and the Kazakh government in 2013 in a $four.5 billion buyout, six years after itemizing on the London Stock Exchange and following a sequence of boardroom battles.
It has been renamed ERG (Eurasian Resources Group), which is registered in Luxembourg and has ferrochrome, aluminium, iron ore and power operations in Kazakhstan, copper and cobalt belongings in Africa and iron ore mines in Brazil.
Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Silvia Aloisi/Keith Weir