Ducks overlooking outside scenery on bridge.

A recent High Court decision acts as a reminder to take care in seeking to settle disputes

28 August 2013. Published by Alan Williams, Partner

The recent decision by the English High Court in Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013] EWHC 2180 (QB) underlines the importance for lawyers of taking care when settling disputes.

In this case the court considered whether a binding settlement agreement had been made where the parties to a dispute concerning a commission payment had exchanged solicitors' letters agreeing to settle the dispute, but had been subsequently unable to agree the terms of formal settlement documentation to record their agreement.  The court held that a settlement agreement had nevertheless been formed, and the parties were bound to it.  One of the determinative factors considered by the court was the failure of the defendant to make its settlement offer expressly 'subject to contract'.  Please click here for the full comment on the case.