Negotiating the settlement of a dispute is rarely straightforward. In the course of negotiations it can be easy for the parties to focus on agreeing the settlement figure and lose sight of the significance of ensuring that the ancillary terms of the settlement are also agreed.
As the recent case of Bieber v Teathers Ltd (In Liquidation) demonstrated, failure to be clear about the basis on which the settlement is “agreed” may result in one party being bound by a settlement that they did not intend. The case is a salutary reminder that without the necessary care and attention being taken to settle negotiations, an outcome that is wholly unsatisfactory and unintended may be reached.
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