“Without prejudice” emails – admissable or not?

I plan to submit a claim to the small claims court via the money claims online service about a company that has failed to provide the service they contracted with me to provide within a reasonable timescale or with reasonable skill.

The company has sent me an email labelled “without prejudice” which a) accuses me of not being willing to listen to the options that they provided me with and ignoring the contract that I entered into; b) states that that “any court will not look kindly on this and will find in their favour” as they have provided options to carry on working or to cease work amicably; and c) states that if I have another suggestion I should contact them.

The email concerned does not include any details of the offers they made (in emails that were also labelled “without prejudice”), and it does not strike me as being “a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute” which I have read is relevant in whether or not it is admissable. Any advice on whether I can include it in my submission would be much appreciated.

Also, given that the company will no doubt accuse me of the same in their response to my submission, I don’t see how I can defend myself against the charges (i.e. by including information about the detailed responses I gave to their unsatisfactory offers), if I can’t mention that they made any offers or what they were.

Again, any advice would be much appreciated!

49 viewslitigation

Alasdair Taylor's Answer

Sorry, it has been many years since I was involved in litigation, and I’m not familiar with the most recent case law on WP communications. In case you haven’t seen it, you might find this note from David Nicholls useful:

http://www.landmarkchambers.co.uk/userfiles/documents/resources/Nicholls%20Without%20Prejudice%20paper.pdf

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