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

Conflicts may arise between an auditor’s desire for documents and information relating to an internal investigation and a lawyer’s desire to avoid waiving attorney-client privilege and work product protections, putting their mutual client in the middle of that struggle. Although the tension between auditors requesting investigation documents and attorneys who hold those documents is understandable, at some point something has to give and balance should be restored in a manner that honors both sets of obligations. In this second article in a two-part series, K&L Gates attorneys William Semins, Brian Saulnier and Travis Gery look at how uncertain (if not conflicting) case law underscores the risk of waiving applicable protections and provide some tips to help lawyers guard against waiver. The first article explored auditor inquiries, lawyer responses to those inquiries in the context of investigations and the standards applicable to that interaction. See “Tips for How In‑House Counsel Can Navigate Typical Ethical Dilemmas and Conflicts of Interest in the Role (Part Two of Two)” (Jun. 28, 2022).

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