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If you put the phrase 'without prejudice' at the top of a letter, is it legally binding? In other words, would an organisation not be allowed to present the letter to a judge then or is it more of a convention? What would a judge do if presented with a letter that said 'without prejudice'?

Gruffle Gaw vs Halifax - £1531.50: ***WON - cheque for £1966.78 received 30/09/06***:)

I'm not a legal professional and my advice is given without prejudice or liability.

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They could present it - but it would NOT be binding on the Judge to take it into consideration, or indeed acknowledge any part of it. (This exception is allowed where other criminal acts like extortion, threats of violence etc are intimated.

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From Finance Glossary : Without prejudice

"The basic meaning is 'without loss of any rights'. It is a term used when two parties are in dispute, and one makes a settlement offer to the other. It puts 'without prejudice' on its offer to make it clear that the settlement offer should not be construed as a waiver of rights. Importantly, communication marked 'without prejudice' cannot be used in evidence in court proceedings if the attempts at settlement fail and the dispute comes to court."

 

You can find out more by giving this Google link a spin:

without prejudice offer - Google Search

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However, you may ask the judge to accept it if you think that it is particularly important, and the judge will have discretion as to whether to accept it or not.

 

As a rule, though, better not to play fast and loose with "Without prejudice" communications.

 

As a side note, complaints have gone to the Law Society about "some" solicitors stating in their letters to CAGgers that the letter was without prejudice, and then going on to say that if OP refused, they would show the letter to the judge. Tut tut.

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  • 1 month later...
As a side note, complaints have gone to the Law Society about "some" solicitors stating in their letters to CAGgers that the letter was without prejudice, and then going on to say that if OP refused, they would show the letter to the judge. Tut tut.

 

Ohhh, Cobbetts have got so far up my nose during my recently won case, that I think I might just have to do this myself. They offered me a 50% settlement "without prejudice" and then said that they would tell the court if I said no (which I did) as it showed that they were being "more than reasonable"

 

I'll let you know how I get on

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Ohhh, Cobbetts have got so far up my nose during my recently won case, that I think I might just have to do this myself. They offered me a 50% settlement "without prejudice" and then said that they would tell the court if I said no (which I did) as it showed that they were being "more than reasonable"

 

I'll let you know how I get on

 

Cobbets have a very hardened (entirely without prejudice) approach and do quite a lot of work for the likes insovlvency practitioners who believe they are a law unto themselves.

PUTTING IT IN WRITING & KEEPING COPIES IS A MUST FOR SUCCESS

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I written an initial letter to the outsourced body from the Law Society that deal with complaints about 'other people's solicitors' outlining how I have objected to their bullying tactics and about them offering me a WP settlement of 50% and telling me in the same letter that if I declined it, then they would tell the court that while they were being reasonable, I was not and my refusal of their letter proved that.

 

Chances that anything will be done or that Cobbetts will be forced to change their ways? Pretty close to sod all, but hey, it makes me feel better and anything that inconveniences those people is ok by me

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2 points – If a letter is a genuine attempt to settle the claim it will be without prejudice even if it doesn’t have those words on it. Putting the words on doesn’t make something that is not “WP”, “WP”. Lots of people put “WP” on documents which are not privileged because they don’t understand what it means. If it is not a genuine attempt to settle the claim then it is disclosable to the court.

What they mean by they reserve the right to tell the court about it, referees only to the matter of costs. If they succeed they will then show the curt the letter to show that you should have taken an offer and saved them costs. The fact you didn’t can be used to justify a higher cost award. But they cannot and must not show that letter or the offer to the court until judgement has been given either way.

I hope that helps.

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