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19 July 2021 I Briefing

Swiss Federal Tribunal Denies Legal Privilege Protection for Correspondence between Non-Accused Persons and Non-Swiss/EU/EFTA Lawyers

The Swiss Federal Tribunal ruled in a recent milestone decision that, in criminal proceedings, communications between a non-accused person and their lawyer are protected from seizure by the prosecuting authorities only if such lawyer is a Swiss/EU/EFTA practitioner. Therefore, unless the person is the target of the investigation, their communications with a non-Swiss/EU/EFTA lawyer do not benefit from the attorney-client privilege protection and may be seized and used as evidence by the prosecuting authorities. This could have a noticeable impact on communications with US lawyers, among others.

Briefing, July 2021