Given the variety of civil law and common law systems across Asia, and the fact that corporate investigations in the region almost always involve multi-jurisdictional elements, protecting privilege is a complex topic. With the differing approaches to privilege adopted both in Asia and in aggressive enforcement jurisdictions like the US and the UK, this topic occupies lawyers, law enforcement agencies and regulators alike.

This article, first published in Global Investigations Review’s The Asia-Pacific Investigations Review 2018, summarises the position in Asian civil law countries as well as in key common law jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Singapore. It also highlights recent developments in the UK including in the RBS Rights Issue and ENRC cases, as well as the position in the US. Finally, it covers practical steps to be taken to maintain privilege over relevant documents and evidence in the context of investigations.  The article, authored by Kyle Wombolt, Christine Cuthbert and Anita Phillips, is available to download here. The Asia-Pacific Investigations Review 2018 is available to download here.


Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is licensed to operate as a foreign law practice in Singapore. Where advice on Singapore law is required, we will refer the matter to and work with licensed Singapore law practices where necessary.