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What does ‘Without Prejudice’ mean?

You may have come across the phrase ‘without prejudice’ particularly if you have been involved in a workplace dispute and/or have been offered a settlement agreement. But what does without prejudice mean?

To put it simply ‘without prejudice’ is a phrase you can use when you are genuinely trying to settle a dispute to give you some protection that what you are saying during the negotiations will not be used against you in evidence if the negotiations fall apart. This is a public policy decision to encourage parties to settle disputes amicably.

Genuine attempt at settling a dispute is important – it isn’t a word that can be used freely in correspondence or orally in the hope of obtaining protection. If you are genuinely trying to settle a dispute it is wise to mark your correspondence, or say if negotiating in person/telephone, that the matter is without prejudice otherwise the information divulged may be considered ‘open’ correspondence and available for the Courts to hear.

What does ‘Without Prejudice Save as to Costs’ mean?

This is where the discussions and offers to resolve a dispute cannot be disclosed to the Court other than to discuss the issue of legal costs in the matter after a judgment is given. What does ‘Without Prejudice Subject to Contract’ mean? This phrase is used to prevent any negotiations becoming binding until the terms are included in a valid contract. This is commonly used in settlement agreement negotiations.

If you require assistance to start a ‘without prejudice’ conversation, or your employer has approached you on a without prejudice basis, perhaps for a settlement agreement, please contact us on 01483 303636 or email to see how we can help you.