find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
ABL in AWB bid for professional privilege

ABL in AWB bid for professional privilege

ARNOLD BLOCH LEIBLER acted for AWB Limited in the Federal Court case AWB Limited v Honourable Terence Rhoderic Hudson Cole handed down last week.In the case, AWB asked for a decla

ARNOLD BLOCH LEIBLER acted for AWB Limited in the Federal Court case AWB Limited v Honourable Terence Rhoderic Hudson Cole handed down last week.

In the case, AWB asked for a declaration that documents sought by Commissioner Terrance Cole, heading the Oil-for-Food inquiry, were protected from disclosure by legal professional privilege.

Initially 1,450 documents were submitted as subject to privilege, but these were reduced to 900 disputed documents after agreements were reached between the parties on the others.

Justice Neil Young concluded that privilege had been waived in 316 of the documents and in part of the contents of a further 19 documents.

He said he was satisfied that AWB had “made a conscious and voluntary decision to deploy the gist or substance” of the legal advice in these documents in its dealings with the Australian Government, the UN Independent Inquiry Committee and the Commission because it considered that it was in its commercial interests to do so.

“These actions are inconsistent with the maintenance of confidentiality in the legal advice,” Justice Young said in a summary of the judgement.

A further 25 documents tendered by AWB had not established they were “confidential communications brought into existence for the dominant purpose of obtaining or giving legal advice”.

Another 10 documents had lost legal professional privilege because they were “brought into existence in furtherance of an improper and dishonest purpose”.

Justice Young said the improper and dishonest purpose was to inflate the prices of contracts A1670 and A1680 “so as to extract payments out of the United Nations’ escrow account that would then be utilised, in part, to satisfy a compensation claim by the [Grain Board of Iraq]”.

AWB and the Commonwealth can now make submissions on the form of any declarations that should be made to give effect to Justice Young’s reasons for judgment.

The first respondent, Commissioner Cole, did not appear. The Australian Government Solicitor acted for the second respondent, the Commonwealth.

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

ABL in AWB bid for professional privilege
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Dec 18 2017
Summer in the city
Across Australia, a number of law students have kicked off their commercial law aspirations with the...
microscope
Dec 18 2017
‘Exorbitant legal fees’ under government microscope
With the growing number of class action proceedings in Australia, the government is looking at how ...
Funds, money, cash
Dec 18 2017
Law Access WA receives welcome funding
Law Access Western Australia has received a grant from the state government to fund its pro bono leg...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...