find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
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:

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

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

ABL in AWB bid for professional privilege
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
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 & ...