Without prejudice communications
Without prejudice communications

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Without prejudice communications
  • Without prejudice rule
  • What makes a communication ‘without prejudice'?
  • Can pre-action communications be without prejudice?
  • Stating communications are without prejudice
  • Chains of communication
  • Communications that are not without prejudice
  • Exceptions to the without prejudice rule
  • Examples of exceptions to the without prejudice rule
  • Calderbank offers—without prejudice save as to costs (‘wpsatc’)
  • More...

This Practice Note explains the without prejudice rule (WP rule) which affects the admissibility of evidence relating to genuine settlement negotiations and describes what makes oral or written communications fall within, and outside, this principle of privilege. It looks at whether pre-action communications can be without prejudice, the relevance of expressly labelling communications as without prejudice and the position on chains of communications. There are exceptions to the general rule which result in WP communications becoming admissible, such as in relation to extracts which are being used to ‘cherry pick’ communications and these exceptions are explained with examples along with the concept of waiver of without prejudice. Without prejudice communications arising in relation to domestic and cross border mediations are also discussed, as are ‘without prejudice save as to costs’ Calderbank offers.

For specific guidance on Part 36 offers, see: Part 36 offers—overview.

For further general guidance on settling disputes, see: Settlement and settling disputes—overview.

Without prejudice rule

Communications between parties which are WP are (generally—see below) inadmissible as evidence in court and cannot be made the subject of a disclosure order in any proceedings.

The Court of Appeal, in Suh, described the without prejudice rule as that governing the admissibility of evidence so as to exclude all negotiations genuinely aimed at settlement, whether oral or in writing, from being given in evidence.

This rule is justified by:

  1. an underlying

Popular documents