Common Interest Agreement: Meaning

Common Interest Agreement

Have you experienced a common-interest agreement before? Do you want to know more about common interest agreements and see some examples of them? Keep reading because this article is detailed on all about common interest agreements.

What Is A Common Interest Agreement?

A common interest agreement is a legally binding contract between lawyers and their clients that allows the sharing of information and strategies without violating confidentiality laws. When defending clients with comparable legal interests, this document enables the attorneys to collaborate and coordinate their efforts.

A common interest agreement will comprise:

  • Details to be exchanged
  • Consent from the concerned clients
  • Attorneys with permission to access information

This type of paper may also outline the benefits of this arrangement for clients, such as cost mitigation. However, because this agreement can be interpreted as a violation of confidentiality or attorney-client privilege, it must be carefully signed.

Practice Hints

Among the best ways to establish and preserve common-interest agreements are:

  • Before disclosing information, carefully assess if the parties’ legal interests are similar, or not. Members’ interests don’t have to coincide, but they should support a similar legal tactic.
  • Before signing an agreement in the context of a government inquiry, it is important to carefully consider the possibility that a party may have conflicting legal interests, such as working with the government to prosecute another party.
  • Before sharing information, come to a consensus based on shared interests. To enter into a relationship based on shared interests, both parties will also consent. Eventually, the agreement should be put in writing for maximum security.
  • The parties must declare that their communications and shared materials are privileged and secret and that they are shared under a common-interest agreement.
  • Make sure that an underlying privilege, such as the attorney-client privilege or work product protection. It applies to the desired testimony or records before asserting that the doctrine prevents the release of testimony or documents.

Examples Of Common Interest Agreement

THIS JOINTThe undersigned attorneys, on behalf of themselves as attorneys, their respective law firms, associated employees and consultants, and their respective clients in this matter (namely, VAM Entertainment, Inc., Royal Entertainment Group, and Cint, Inc.), hereby enter into a DEFENSE AND COMMON INTEREST AGREEMENT (the “Agreement”). Herein, each client is referred to as a “Party,” and all of the clients are referred to as “the Parties.”
VAM Entertainment, Inc., and Royal Entertainment Group have formed a new joint venture in the advertising and promotion sector.

Parties are deciding whether Cint, Inc. should be a part owner of the joint venture, also known as the transaction. The parties agree to protect their legal rights in the Transaction, which may be subject to competition-related approval, governmental inquiry, administrative or regulatory proceedings, or litigation.

The parties acknowledge that sharing transaction-related information and resources may safeguard their legal rights in legal proceedings. They also memorialize this agreement for joint defense and common interest, without risking the loss of privileges.


As of the effective date specified below, the League of Metropolitan Cities (“Metl Cities”) and the Acqua Requestor have signed into a common interest agreement governed by these terms and conditions.

Shared Interests. The Parties to this Agreement agree that it is appropriate to coordinate certain efforts, exchange certain information, and consult with appropriate Allied Organizations regarding Cal Cities’ participation in the litigation as an amicus curiae to further the goals of the Cal Cities Legal Advocacy Program and the Amicus Requestor’s goals in seeking Cal Cities’ participation in the Litigation as outlined in the Amicus Requestor’s amicus request.


a. Allied Organizations:

Furthermore, Cal Cities has filed an amicus curiae, and these are groups that either party has assessed could be interested in participating.

This Amicus Filing:

Cal Cities seeks amicus participation in litigation through an amicus brief or letter filed with the court where the litigation is being heard.

c. Amicus Requestor: The party or parties requesting for Cal Cities to participate in the litigation as an amicus through its legal counsel is known as the Amicus Requestor. This request is made through the Cal Cities online amicus request form.

d. Common Interest Information:

This refers to any information—confidential or privileged—that is shared between the Parties to further the goals of this Agreement. It is not limited to, information produced by Allied Organizations and shared or disclosed between the Parties, the form submitted by the Amicus Requestor in support of the amicus request, any supporting documentation, and any information that the Parties exchange after the Amicus Requestor submits the request to Cal Cities. There is nothing in Common Interest Information that is accessible to the general public.

e. Effective Date:

The effective date of a common interest agreement on litigation is the date Cal Cities formally accepted the Amicus Requestor’s offer.

f. Litigation:

The term “litigation” refers to the legal issues or matters specified in Cal Cities’ online amicus request form that the amicus requestor has filed.

g. Parties:

This includes Cal Cities, Amicus Requestor, workers, governing boards, councils, legal advisory bodies, and outside legal counsel recruited by a Party.

Information of Common Interest and Confidentiality.

a. Disclosure: Either party may, at its sole discretion, reveal common interest information to the other party to this agreement or to an allied organization that either party designates. Information of a common interest will also be revealed verbally or in writing.


How Does a Shared Interest Operate?

“An extension of the attorney-client privilege” is what the common interest privilege is. A unified defense strategy between parties and their respective counsels safeguards the confidentiality of communications between parties and their attorneys.

The Common Interest Clause: What Is It?

When disclosure is required to achieve the goal for which legal assistance was sought, the common interest doctrine permits the sharing of communications between parties that are shielded by the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine without compromising any privileges.

What Is the Common Interest Principle?

When two lawyers represent clients who have similar legal interests, their discussions are protected by the common-interest concept. Sharing privileged information with outside parties typically results in the waiver of the privilege, with an exception.


Examine all potential theories of liability, consider all available defenses, and assess whether divergent interests exist or are likely to arise during the investigation before signing a common interest agreement and providing other members with confidential information. The scope of the agreement is also limited to aligned interests only, avoiding the possibility of diverging interests. Sign an agreement to ensure the safety of privileged communications and protected work products by designating them and requesting confidentiality.

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