Practical Law UK Glossary 2-107-7511 (Approx. 4 pages)
The without prejudice (WP) rule will generally prevent statements made in a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute, whether made in writing or orally, from being put before the court as evidence of admissions against the interests of the party which made them. One reason for having the WP rule is the public policy of encouraging parties (or potential parties) to litigation to settle their disputes out of court. The rationale is that settlement discussions (and, it is hoped, settlement itself) will be facilitated if parties are able to speak freely, secure in the knowledge that what they have said and, in particular, any admissions which they might have made to try to settle the matter, may not be used against them should the settlement discussions fail. The inclusion of the words "without prejudice" will not necessarily bring the communication within the ambit of WP privilege if it is not, in substance, a communication made in a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute.