Nea Karteria Maritime Co Ltd v Atlantic and Great Lakes Steamship Corporation (No 2): 11 Dec 1978

The court considered disclosure of a legally privileged note of an interview: ‘I believe that the principle underlying the rule of practice exemplified by Burnell v British Transport Commission is that, where a party is deploying in court material which would otherwise be privileged, the opposite party and the court must have an opportunity of satisfying themselves that what the party has chosen to release from privilege represents the whole of the material relevant to the issue in question. To allow an individual item to be plucked out of context would be to risk injustice through its real weight or meaning being misunderstood.’ and ‘Where a person is deploying in court material which would otherwise be privileged, the opposite party and the court must have the opportunity of satisfying themselves that what the party has chosen to release from privilege represents the whole of the material relevant to the issue in question. To allow an individual item to be plucked out of context would be to risk injustice through its real weight or meaning being misunderstood. . . I would describe that as the cherry picking aspect.’ and ‘The key word here is ‘deploying’. A mere reference to a privileged document in an affidavit does not of itself amount to a waiver of privilege, and this is so even if the document referred to is being relied on for some purpose, for reliance in itself is said not to be the test. Instead, the test is whether the contents of the document are being relied on, rather than its effect. The problem is acute in cases where the maker of an affidavit or witness statement has to give details of the source of his information and belief, in order to comply with the rules of admissibility of such affidavit or witness statement. Provided that the maker does not quote the contents, or summarise them, but simply refers to the document’s effect, there is apparently no waiver of privilege. This benevolent view has not been extended to the case where the maker refers to the document in order to comply with the party’s need to give full and frank disclosure, eg on a without notice (ex parte) application.’
Mustill J
[1981] Comm LR 138
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBurnell v British Transport Commission CA 1956
The plaintiff sought damages for personal injury. When his witness was cross-examined on his earlier statement, he agreed he had made the statement. Counsel for the Plaintiff asked to see the whole statement. Counsel for the Defendant objected on . .

Cited by:
CitedFulham Leisure Holdings Ltd v Nicholson Graham and Jones ChD 14-Feb-2006
The defendant solicitors were being sued for professional negligence. The claimants had taken legal advice after termination of the retainer which led to the present action, and sought to rely upon part of counsel’s opinion. The defendants sought . .
CitedLoizou, Regina v CACD 14-Jul-2006
The defendant appealed against her conviction for assisting in the disposal of the proceeds of criminal activity, saying that the judge had incorrectly ruled that she had waived legal privilege as to the advice given to her at the police station, . .
CitedSomatra Limited v Sinclair Roche and Temperley (a Firm) etc CA 26-Jul-2000
In an action between clients and their solicitors, the solicitors produced at an interlocutory hearing evidence derived from without prejudice discussions. The claimants applied for disclosure of all such documents, but this was rejected on the . .
CitedDunlop Slazenger International Ltd v Joe Bloggs Sports Ltd CA 11-Jun-2003
Waller LJ said: ‘To answer the question whether waiver of parts of a privileged communication waives the complete information, it is that dictum of Mustill J., as he then was, which applies. A party is not entitled to cherry pick and a party to whom . .
CitedMayne Pharma Pty Ltd Anor v Debiopharm Sa Anor PatC 10-Feb-2006
. .
ApprovedGreat Atlantic Insurance v Home Insurance CA 1981
The defendants sought to enter into evidence one part of a document, but the plaintiffs sought to have the remainder protected through legal professional privilege.
Held: The entirety of the document was privileged, but by disclosing part, the . .
CitedBrennan and others v Sunderland City Council Unison GMB EAT 16-Dec-2008
No Waiver for disclosure of Advice
EAT PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE: Admissibility of evidence
The claimant sought disclosure of certain legal advice on the basis that its effect, and a summary of its contents, had been put before the court and . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Transport ex-parte Factortame and Others CA 1988
The Secretary of State was willing to make legal advice given to him available on the grounds that privilege had been waived, but not advice after a particular cut off date. The claimants were dubious as to whether the privilege had been properly . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.240157