Without prejudice privilege prevents communications between parties made in a genuine attempt to resolve disputes from being admissible in proceedings. Fundamentally, its objective is to give parties a safe framework within which they can negotiate compromises freely, without concern that their efforts will be used to damage them in proceedings. Since our last e-bulletin, there have been two noteworthy judgments in relation to this privilege:

  1. The Court of Appeal reversed the attempt to erode the principle in Oceanbulk Shipping and Trading SA v TMT Asia Limited [2010] EWCA Civ 79; and
  2. The High Court has clarified when disclosure of without prejudice communications is needed to fulfil a full and frank disclosure obligation: Linsen International Limited v Humpuss Sea Transport [2010] EWHC 303 (Comm).

These case should reassure parties that their without prejudice communications are unlikely to be disclosed, absent a recognised exception or compelling reason why the material ought to be put before the court. Click here to read our update on these developments.