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UYB Ltd v British Railways Board, Court of Appeal, 20 October 2000

27 November 2000
The issues

Without prejudice negotiations – whether without prejudice draft admissible in evidence

The facts

UYB Limited had served a report dealing with quantum 2 years before serving the final report. The Defendant argued at Trial that is does not know the quantum of the claim until the final report was served in December 1998. Consequentially the Judge disallowed interest for a period from a period from the issue of the Writ to the date when the final report was served.

The Claimant appealed on the basis that in reality, in the course of without prejudice negotiations a draft had been served which had given the Defendant an idea of the quantum of the claim.

The decision

The draft report was a draft. The figures stated were different from those ultimately disclosed. The Judge was right to have no regard to without prejudice report. Public policy encouraged the settlement of disputes before resorting to law. Such negotiations were made with prejudice to future litigation. Therefore no reference could be made to earlier draft without prejudice documents at Trial.

Appeal dismissed.

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