PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Class action proceedings against the appellant arising out one of the Black Saturday bushfires (‘the Murrindindi fire’) – Appellant claimed legal professional privilege in relation to a bundle of reports it had prepared (‘the technical analysis documents’) – Documents produced shortly after the appellant was advised by the Victoria Police that the police were investigating whether the appellant was responsible for the start of the fire – Associate Judge ruled that the technical analysis documents were not privileged – Appeal against the decision of the Associate Judge – Instruction for production of the documents given by a sub-committee of the board of directors – Member of the sub-committee giving the instruction not called to explain purpose in seeking production of the technical analysis documents – Consideration of the dominant purpose of the sub-committee – Consideration of possible purposes of the sub-committee other than privileged purposes – Consideration of inferences that could be drawn from the appellant’s failure to call evidence that was available to be called – Blatch v Archer considered – Appeal dismissed.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Appeal from a decision of an Associate Judge on findings of fact – nature of appeal – test to be applied on appeal to findings of fact.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – interlocutory process – application for summary dismissal on the basis the interlocutory process is an abuse of process – whether the predominant purpose of the interlocutory process was to obtain a collateral advantage or was otherwise improper
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – words and phrases – “abuse of process” – relevant principles – application of ss 11(2), 131(1) and 131(2)(k) of the Evidence Act 1995
MALICIOUS PROSECUTION – whether institution and maintenance of criminal proceedings for illegal clearing of native vegetation in the Land and Environment Court and by a case stated to the Court of Criminal Appeal was malicious and without reasonable and probable cause – misfeasance in public office – negligent misrepresentation – interference in trade or business – principle in Jones v Dunkel – claim of client legal privilege – whether plaintiffs exempt from the need to obtain development consent prior to clearing native vegetation – whether clearing part of “designated development” under s 12(f) Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997 – whether plaintiffs entitled to rely on “rural structures” or “farm dam exemption” – whether any valid or conforming application under Part 8 of the Water Act 1912
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE — Summons for production for inspection of documents — Whether documents are the subject of client legal privilege — Dominant purpose test — Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) ss 45, 75, 118, 119 and 131A.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – notice to produce – expert’s reports – draft expert reports and communications between the expert and the party retaining them and their solicitors – application to set aside notice to produce
EVIDENCE – client legal privilege – privileged material – whether there is a waiver of client legal privilege for draft expert reports and communications between the expert and the party retaining the expert by the party seeking to rely on the final expert report in the proceedings
SUCCESSION – Wills probate and administration – Testamentary instruments – “suspicious circumstances rule” – Evidence – Application to set aside subpoenas – Legitimate forensic purpose – application dismissed
EVIDENCE – Facts excluded from proof – On grounds of privilege – Legal profession – Probate – Statements of witnesses to execution of will not privileged. “Rule in Re Fuld” – Claim to privilege dismissed
CORPORATIONS – Oppression – compulsory acquisition of minority shareholdings – parent company majority shareholder in subsidiary – demands for payment by parent company – non-supply of new range of stock to subsidiary – alleged failure or refusal by parent company to fill stock orders of subsidiary – appointment of administrators to subsidiary by parent company’s nominee directors on board of subsidiary – charging of penalty interest by parent company on outstanding debts of subsidiary – whether deliberate course of conduct by parent company to remove minority shareholder of subsidiary from management and acquire minority shareholdings in subsidiary without payment – whether parent company’s nominee directors on board of subsidiary failed to properly assist subsidiary – whether conduct of parent company contrary to the interests of members of subsidiary as a whole, or oppressive to, unfairly prejudicial to or unfairly discriminatory against minority shareholders of subsidiary – applicable legal principles – whether conduct of parent company conduct in the affairs of the subsidiary – prevention of board meetings – whether unauthorised transfer of funds, related party transfers and improper incurring of adviser fees by minority shareholder of subsidiary – whether alleged conduct of minority shareholder oppressive conduct – whether alleged failure by minority shareholder to cause subsidiary to pay debts to parent company oppressive conduct – whether oppressive conduct of minority shareholder should disentitle relief sought – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), ss 53, 232, 233.
PRIVILEGE – admissibility of evidence – patent attorney/client privilege – relationship to legal advice privilege – scope of advice privilege – waiver – admissibility of evidence of communications between patent attorney and client – where discovery and inspection given of documents recording such communications – where no claim for patent attorney/client privilege made in respect of such documents – whether such documents privileged from production – whether production of such documents voluntary – whether other evidence of communications between patent attorney and client privileged and therefore inadmissible by reason of s 200 of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) and s 118 of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) – whether such privilege waived by voluntary disclosure of related documents – scope of waiver
PATENTS – patent attorney/client privilege – relationship to legal advice privilege – scope of advice privilege
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE — Subpoenas to independent experts — Inspection of documents — Client legal privilege — Express waiver of privilege in expert reports by delivery — Documentary communications between solicitor and independent experts — Draft expert reports submitted to plaintiff’s solicitors for the provision of professional legal services relating to the current group proceeding — Whether waiver of privilege in consequence of delivery of expert’s final reports — Inconsistency — Whether documents influence or underpin expert reports — ss 119, 122 and 131A of the Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) — Whether resultant waiver of privilege — No waiver — Maintenance of the privilege not inconsistent with deployment of the final report in the proceeding.
CONTEMPT OF COURT – first respondent restrained by freezing order from using his assets other than for permitted purposes – first respondent’s assets defined to include assets of third respondent – separate order made restraining third respondent from disposing of its assets – first respondent applied moneys of third respondent for permitted purposes – whether orders unclear or ambiguous – whether first respondent knowingly interfered with administration of justice by assisting in breach of orders by third respondent
PROCEDURE – notice of motion – legal professional privilege – documents – s 118, s 119 Evidence Act – whether documents disclosed – some documents not confidential – whether solicitor’ and counsel independent – dominant purpose – waiver – waiver established – s 122 Evidence Act does not apply – orders
EVIDENCE – privilege – legal professional privilege – privileged claimed under s 118 and s 119 of Evidence Act
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Subpoenas to independent experts – Inspection of documents – Client legal privilege – Express waiver of privilege in expert reports by delivery– Documentary communications between solicitor and independent experts – Draft expert reports submitted to first defendant’s solicitors for the provision of professional legal services relating to the current group proceeding – Whether waiver of privilege in consequence of delivery of expert’s final reports – Inconsistency – Whether documents influence or underpin expert reports – ss 119, 122 and 126 of Evidence Act 2008 (Vic).
CRIME – evidence – where accused served notice of intention to call evidence that deceased had a tendency to act in a particular way – call by Crown for production of any statements taken by solicitor for accused from persons identified in notice – whether client legal privilege lost upon service of notice – whether client legal privilege lost upon calling witnesses to give evidence in the case for the accused
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Subpoena to independent expert – Inspection of documents – Client legal privilege – Express waiver of privilege in expert reports by delivery– Documentary communications between solicitor and independent expert – Whether waiver of privilege in consequence of delivery of expert reports – Inconsistency – Whether documents influence or underpin expert reports – ss 119, 122 and 126 of Evidence Act 2008 (Vict) – No waiver.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – claim of privilege by certain respondents over communications with legal and financial advisers in connection with sale of shares in second applicant to first applicant – where legal and financial advisers also retained by, and provided advice to, second applicant – whether second applicant entitled to share jointly in privilege claim over relevant communications – whether certain respondents entitled to claim privilege over relevant communications to the exclusion of second respondent – whether process employed for determining privilege and evidence given in support sufficient to sustain claim of privilege
[PRIVILEGE] – documents produced in answer to subpoena served on accountants who had provided accounting advice to trustee that included reference to legal advice – where issues include trustee’s state of mind and specific beliefs at time of sending letter the subject of claims for trustee’s removal – whether privilege waived
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE –– production sought during trial of draft expert reports and expert’s correspondence with solicitors – whether client legal privilege subsisted and if so waived – relevant provisions of Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) and applicable legal principles – call for production too late – moreover, evidence indicated that documents had client legal privilege which was not waived
22. The present case is not governed by common law principles of legal professional privilege but rather is governed by the Evidence Act (see s 4(1) of that Act).
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Call for production of documents in the course of crossexamination at trial – Whether documents within the call – Whether documents produced the subject of client legal privilege – Dominant purpose test – Whether leave to crossexamine deponent should be granted – Leave granted on limited basis – rule 40.04 of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 – Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) ss 45, 118, 119 and 131A.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – Occupational Health and Safety prosecution – Committal proceedings – Witness summons – Summons to produce documents – Legitimate forensic purpose – Legal professional privilege – Certiorari – Whether decision in course of committal proceeding amenable to certiorari – Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, ss 21 and 132.
EVIDENCE – client legal privilege – internal document handed up in court to confirm decision of no further proceedings (s 7(2)(b) Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1986 (NSW)) – whether document privileged under s 118 and s 119 of Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) – whether Director of Public Prosecutions is “client” and Deputy Director is “Australian lawyer” – whether client legal privilege waived by act of Crown Prosecutor handing document up in court to be filed with the court file – whether consent imputed to client – whether court functus officio at time of handing up of document
PROCEDURE – costs – leave to appeal sought in respect of costs orders made on an issue-by-issue basis – applicant seeks to challenge the judge’s conclusions on certain of the issues but not the ultimate decision – whether an appeal court should canvass intermediate conclusions merely for the sake of an appeal on costs – leave refused – PROCEDURE – subpoena to non-party – legal professional privilege at common law – common interest privilege – person maintaining claim by subrogation to proceeds of pending litigation – communication to that person of confidential legal advice given to the party in whose shoes the person seeks to stand – whether common interest of the litigant and the person claiming by subrogation exists so as to preclude a finding of waiver of privilege – PROCEDURE – subpoena to non-party – legal professional privilege at common law – where the non-party claiming by subrogation has agreed to fund proceedings brought by the litigant – whether the litigation funding agreement is protected by legal professional privilege
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Subpoena – Notice to Produce – objections to inspection of parts of funding agreements redacted – client legal privilege – whether reveals legal strategy expressly or by implication – no privilege in redacted parts of funding agreements.
EVIDENCE – production of documents – application to be excused from producing documents – client legal privilege – police seeking advice from internal Operational Legal Advice Unit – whether advice provided by lawyer – whether pending or anticipated proceeding – Commissioner excused from production
PRACTICE and PROCEDURE – inspection of subpoenaed documents – client legal privilege – expert reports disclosed, used and relied on in pre-trial expert conclaves – express waiver of privilege in expert reports – production and inspection resisted of privileged documents subpoenaed from experts – documents produced with redactions – redactions record privileged conversations between expert and legal advisors of first defendant – whether notes redacted influencing or underpinning expert reports – whether privileged waived –- ss. 119, 122(2) and 126 Evidence Act 2008 .
PROCEDURE – claim of privilege over documents disclosed – whether documents such as to attract privilege – whether bank waived privilege – legitimate forensic purpose – whether scope of subpoena to produce too broad
PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – lawyers – client legal privilege – waiver of – inconsistency between claims made and maintenance of the privilege – claim for mental harm – incapacity to conduct business or litigation alleged – documents seeking and providing instructions to solicitors in other litigation – privilege waived
APPEAL – application for leave to appeal – appeal from interlocutory order – interpretation of Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 (ACT) ch 5 – whether ch 5 continues to apply after originating process filed – extent of statutory abrogation of common law privilege – where only quantum at issue in Supreme Court proceedings – where clarity in the Court of Appeal resolving the issue would be of substantial benefit to litigants – where prejudice to the respondent able to be ameliorated by costs order – leave granted.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Hearing rule of natural justice – Legal professional privilege – Whether a coroner is authorised to provide material to an interested party on condition that a copy of any report prepared for that party on that material be provided to the coroner – Such a condition undermines the hearing rule of natural justice and legal professional privilege and is invalid.
CORONERS COURT – Power of a coroner to impose conditions on the provision of material to an interested party – Whether a tissue sample taken from a body remains part of the body – Whether a coroner has control over the tissue sample – Whether legal professional privilege under the common law or under the Evidence Act 2008 applies – Coroners Act 2008 ss 22, 28, 47, 49, 56, 58, 62, 66, 67, 114, 115 and the definition of ‘body’ in s 3(1) – Human Tissue Act 1982 ss 27, 29, 30, 33; Evidence Act 2008 ss 118, 119, 131A.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – subpoena to non party – claim for legal professional privilege and common interest privilege – onus of establishing matters relevant to either claim – whether either claim made out
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – subpoena to non party – claim for legal professional privilege and common interest privilege – onus of establishing matters relevant to either claim – whether either claim made out
JUDICIAL REVIEW – Review of ruling of magistrate holding that notes made between lawyers for a party and a witness were subject to legal professional privilege – Notes produced before hearing for judicial review – Issue in question moot – Relief sought in respect of magistrate’s ruling not granted – Further application to amend originating motion to seek order prohibiting the hearing of the Magistrates’ Court prosecution until assurances made by prosecutor of compliance with duty of disclosure – Relief sought not within Court’s supervisory jurisdiction – Application to amend dismissed.
CASE MANAGEMENT – interlocutory applications regarding affidavit evidence, vacation of the hearing date and request for a referral for pro bono legal assistance – HELD – application to vacate dismissed but commencement date deferred – limited order for pro bono assistance – other applications dismissed.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – personal injury action – provision of medical reports by defendant to plaintiff – Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002, ch 5- whether of continuing application after commencement of court proceedings
STATUTES – Civil law (Wrongs) Act 2002 – disclosure of medical reports under ch 5 – whether obligation continues after commencement of court proceedings
EVIDENCE – legal professional privilege – privilege claimed over documents obtained pursuant to search warrants and summons under the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth) and Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) – whether Australian Crime Commission (ACC) entitled to inspect
EVIDENCE – whether documents subject to legal professional privilege – applicable principles – Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) not relevant – no issue of admissibility of evidence – issue to be determined under common law – legal professional privilege a fundamental common law immunity – whether reference to common law is to common law of Australia
PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW – choice of law – whether right to inspect documents seized under Australian statute gives rise to choice of law question – question of statutory interpretation – no choice of law question – issue governed by Australian principles of legal professional privilege
PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW – if choice of law question arises whether Australian choice of law principles apply
PROCEDURE – civil – privilege – common interest privilege – communication between administrators’ lawyers and former lawyers of company in administration relating to litigation brought by plaintiff against company- anticipated proceedings by plaintiff if its proof of debt rejected – raise same issues – administrators and company have common interest in relation to proceedings
EVIDENCE ― Client legal privilege ― Loss or waiver of privilege ― Delivery of bill of costs for party/party taxation ― Descriptions by item of charges and disbursements ― Whether description is privileged as revealing confidential communication ― Sufficiency of evidence establishing privilege in description ― Whether revelation of description and delivery of bill amounts to waiver of putative privilege ― Waiver for limited purpose ― Whether disclosure occurred by “compulsion of law “under taxation process ― Evidence Act No 47 of 2008 (Vic), s 118, 119, 122(3), (5).
19 The plaintiff submitted that the initial response to progress payment claims was merely contract administration and fell within the ambit of administration of the trust. However, in light of the transmission of 5 May 2006 it is not possible to characterise the resolution of the claims as anything other than an anticipated or pending Australian proceeding. Albeit that by virtue of s 4, the Evidence Act applies to all proceedings in a Victorian court as defined by the dictionary, s 9 sets out that the Evidence Act does not affect the operation of common law “except so far as this Act provides otherwise expressly or by necessary intendment.” Accordingly, I am not constrained to conclude that disputes with respect to progress claims not heard in a Victorian court are necessarily excluded from either the common law principles of legal professional privilege nor the statutory principles of client legal privilege.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Legal advice privilege – Litigation privilege – Joint legal privilege – No joint advice or legal privilege found – Definition of ‘Australia or overseas proceeding’ and ‘Australian Court’ under the Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) – Krok v Szaintop Homes Pty Ltd (No 1)  VSC 16 – Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) ss 118, 119 .
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Privilege – application for production of documents disclosed on discovery over which claim for legal professional privilege made – confidentiality – dominant purpose for which documents created
Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) s 127
Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) ss 117, 118, 119, 131A
Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) ss 117, 118, 119, 131A
Evidence Act 2008 (VIC)
Evidence Amendment (Journalists’ Privilege) Act 2007 (Cth)
Evidence Amendment Act 2007 (NSW)
[Client Legal Privilege] – Motion for access to documentsproduced on subpoena – Objection to access on ground that documents consisting of pleadings, affidavits and particulars filed and served in other proceedings are privileged and were filed and served under compulsion of law (s.122 (2) (c) – Claim that pleadings and/or affidavits are not privileged so that s122 (2) (c) does not apply – Alternative application for access pursuant to Part 65 rule 7 and Practice Note 97.
PROCEDURE – Discovery and inspection of documents – Grounds for resisting production – Client legal privilege – Whether documents privileged – Dominant purpose for creation of documents – Whether two directors of company each equally entitled to maintain claims for privilege on behalf of company – Director defending claims on behalf of company entitled to maintain claims for privilege on behalf of company – Where retainer of solicitor by company invalid because director who retained services of solicitor on behalf of company acted ultra vires – Whetherbelief that retainer exists sufficient to support privilege – Privilege available where client bona fide believed on reasonable grounds that the solicitor was retained as its solicitor – Held that director with authority to defend proceedings on behalf of company entitled to maintain claim for privilege, on behalf of company, over certain communications with solicitor which were created when company believed retainer existed.CORPORATIONS – Orders previously made for inspection of documents by a director – Supplemental orders made for purpose of making more efficacious the principal orders.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Leave to appeal – Interlocutory order – Legal professional privilege – Whether judge erred in finding documents were not prepared for the dominant purpose of providing legal advice – Whether CEO’s purpose is of central relevance to assessment of dominant purpose – Whether applicant’s failure to call CEO at hearing could be regarded as significant – Application refused