Monday, January 13, 2020

WIthout Prejudice in Oman

The Omani courts do not recognise the concept of ‘without prejudice’ communications.  Any correspondence marked ‘without prejudice’ and brought into existence expressly for the purpose of furthering genuine settlement negotiations can be filed in court and relied on.  There are, however, several alternative steps that can be used in Oman to bolster the protection of any settlement correspondence.  By way of example, in any settlement negotiations, insist that all parties to the dispute sign an undertaking that any information disclosed in the communications will not be used as evidence before the courts.  Further, all documents should contain a statement or qualification that any offer does not constitute an admission of liability.  In addition, any settlement agreement should have a comprehensive confidentiality provision to prevent any form of publication.  A settlement agreement should also contain a provision preventing the parties from being called as witnesses in any subsequent litigation or arbitration in relation to the dispute.  A waiver of this condition should require consent of all parties.  Finally, if necessary, all communications in relation to a settlement should be made orally and not in writing.