So you think you can settle? Five common pitfalls

More often than not, commercial disputes settle out of court. Good news? Yes, unless you end up with an argument about the terms on which you have settled or worse, whether you have settled at all. Such arguments could be frustrating because, by that stage, the parties are ready to move on and don’t wish to incur any further legal costs.

A recent decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court (The Owners Strata Plan No 76502 v Waterpoint Shepherds Bay Pty Limited), has highlighted five common pitfalls for litigants and their lawyers!

In summary, they are:

  1. Failing to accept the offer before its expiry.
  2. Inadvertently making a counter-offer – there may be no way back if your counter-offer is rejected.
  3. Convincing the plaintiff to discontinue the proceedings but forgetting to obtain a release.
  4. Forgetting to make the offer conditional on entry into a binding Deed of Release.
  5. Acting in a way which varies, or repudiates the terms of settlement.