High Court finds parties agreed to vary application of “without prejudice” rule in subsequent “without prejudice save as to costs” correspondence

The High Court has held that correspondence marked “without prejudice save as to costs” and which described the conduct of prior “without prejudice” (WP) negotiations (including a mediation and subsequent discussions) was admissible in an application for costs against the claimant’s lawyers: Willers v Joyce & Ors [2019] EWHC 937 (Ch). The court accepted that … Read more

Brexit: UK unwinds implementation of EU ADR laws

Jan O’Neill Professional Support Lawyer, London   The UK Government has published legislation to effectively revoke the implementation of the EU Mediation Directive (2008/52/EC) after Brexit. The Cross-Border Mediation (EU Directive) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the Regulations) were made on 1 March 2019 and will come into effect on exit day, whenever that occurs. Why? The development … Read more

Article published – Discussing settlement options: minding the gap between litigation privilege and the without prejudice rule

A recent Court of Appeal decision has given rise to concern regarding the extent to which litigation privilege is available to protect an organisation’s internal deliberations on its settlement options in a dispute. In WH Holding Ltd v E20 Stadium LLP [2018] EWCA Civ 2652 (outlined here) the Court found that litigation privilege applies only to documents … Read more

Article published – ADR reform: one size does not fit all

On 6 March, the Civil Justice Council held a workshop to discuss the recommendations made in its interim report on ADR, which was subject to consultation late last year. The interim report addresses concerns regarding a perceived underuse of ADR within some sections of the civil justice system and suggests a variety of possible corrective measures. The … Read more

Singapore: proposed new legislation to encourage mediation

A Mediation Bill has recently been put before the Singapore Parliament with a view to encouraging the growth of mediation in the jurisdiction.  The three key proposals in the Bill (which echo similar provisions in the EU Mediation Directive and various other mediation laws around the world) are: (i)   A power (though not a duty) in the courts to … Read more

Settlement offer conveyed through a mediator found not to be protected by without prejudice privilege due to ‘unambiguous impropriety’

The Court of Appeal has recently applied the rarely invoked "unambiguous impropriety" exception to without prejudice ("WP") privilege, to find that a written settlement offer conveyed through a mediator following an unsuccessful mediation was not protected by WP: Ferster v Ferster [2016] EWCA Civ 717.    Communications in connection with a mediation (including when the … Read more

Court of Appeal decision endorses broad view of without prejudice protection

The Court of Appeal has held that discussions between a defendant's solicitor and a claimant litigant in person were or ought to have been seen by both parties as "negotiations genuinely aimed at settlement" and therefore protected by the without prejudice rule. In doing so, the court overturned the High Court's decision, which it said took too narrow a … Read more