Contact me

My professional address is

Ropewalk Chambers

24, The Ropewalk,

Nottingham,

NG1 5EF

My telephone number is

0115 947 2581

And my email address is

andrewhogan@ropewalk.co.uk

2 comments

  1. Hi Andrew,
    Hope you are well.
    I am coming across an increasing number of cases whereby the third party insurers are offering a “free car”, ie an intervention letter, however the letter is usually headed in bold print “Without Prejudice”. I cannot see how the letter can be construed as a firm offer of a free car when the letter is clearly marked in this way.
    It seems to me that the third party insurers want to have their cake and eat it. Surely if the letter is marked in such a way, this cannot be used in evidence at a later court hearing.
    I would welcome your thoughts on the matter.

    1. The “Without prejudice” rule is a rule of evidence which excludes
      communications aimed at settlement of a dispute, from being capable of production as evidence in court. For a letter to be without prejudice rule to apply, there must be a dispute, negotiations genuinely aimed at settlement of the dispute and the court deals with substance rather than form: whether or not a letter is marked “without prejudice” is not definitive as to whether the without prejudice rule applies.
      The courts will always consider substance over form and conduct an objective evaluation. I suspect the insurance company is simply misusing the term: there is no reason why they would want to keep the offer secret. But you are entitled to take it at face value and ask for any such letter to be excluded from the evidence by the court.

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