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“Sagheera” Hellenic Mutual War Risks Association (Bermuda) Ltd. And General Contractors Importing And Services Enterprises –v- Harrison

18th Oct 1996

[1997] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 160

Stephen Kenny and Sioban Healy were involved in this case concerning the assertion of legal professional privilege in relation to documents created in the course of a joint investigation conducted by the owners of this vessel and its war risks insurers, following an explosion which caused her total loss. Held, those documents were privileged from disclosure to others (e.g. hull and machinery underwriters). The judgment also deals with privilege claimed for documents disseminating legal advice “internally”, partly privileged documents, and common interest privilege.

Practice – Discovery – Privilege – Insurance (Marine) – Vessel blew up in Gulf of Oman – War risks underwriters obtained assignment of owners’ rights against hull and machinery underwriters – Validity and effect of assignment to be tried as a preliminary issue – Discovery to be limited to that issue – Whether plaintiffs could plead legal professional privilege, common interest privilege – Categories of documents for which privilege claimed – Whether allowable.

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