Article

Can Public Relations Be Private? The Attorney-Client Privilege and Communications with Public Relations Firms

Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report

20 Dec 2021

Carl Loewenson authored an article for Pratt’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report, explaining that although broad claims of attorney-client privilege for communications with public relations companies have not been successful, limited claims of work product privilege have been accepted.

“Attorneys representing a company that has suffered a data breach or ransomware attack…find themselves handling problems that are often not confined to legal risks,” the authors wrote. “Faced with sudden and unwelcome media interest, companies without a robust in-house public relations group will for many good reasons want to retain a public relations firm. While there is a body of literature in public relations and academic circles arguing that public relations may have become an integral part of the lawyer’s role in high-profile matters, the work an attorney does in pursuit of the role may not be covered by the attorney-client privilege. If a lawyer believes that hiring a public relations firm or consultant would further the client’s litigation interests, the lawyer should not assume those communications will be covered by attorney-client privilege or work product protection.”

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