Settlement Agreement Privilege

  • 21/03/2023

Settlement Agreement Privilege: What You Need to Know

In the legal world, settlement agreements are a common way to resolve disputes between parties. These agreements can be beneficial to both sides, as they allow for a speedy resolution to a legal matter and can save both time and money. However, there is a lesser-known aspect of settlement agreements that can be very important: settlement agreement privilege.

What is Settlement Agreement Privilege?

Settlement agreement privilege is a legal doctrine that protects the confidentiality of settlement negotiations and agreements. It means that communications made during settlement negotiations cannot be used as evidence in court, and the terms of a settlement agreement cannot be disclosed to a third party.

Why Is Settlement Agreement Privilege Important?

Settlement agreement privilege is important because it allows parties to speak frankly and candidly during settlement negotiations. Parties are more likely to come to a mutually agreeable resolution if they feel free to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions without fear that those discussions will be used against them in court.

Settlement agreement privilege is also important because it encourages parties to settle disputes outside of court. If parties know that their settlement negotiations will be kept confidential, they are more likely to engage in settlement discussions. This can help to reduce the burden on courts and speed up the resolution of disputes.

What Are the Limits of Settlement Agreement Privilege?

While settlement agreement privilege is a powerful tool, it is not absolute. There are certain situations where settlement negotiations and agreements may be disclosed. For example, settlement agreement privilege may be waived if one party breaches the terms of the agreement. Additionally, settlement agreement privilege may be overcome if there is evidence of fraud or other wrongdoing.

In addition, settlement agreement privilege may not apply to certain types of disputes. For example, in some cases involving discrimination or harassment, settlement agreements cannot include confidentiality provisions. This is because public policy favors the disclosure of information related to discrimination and harassment.


Settlement agreement privilege is a valuable tool that can help parties resolve disputes quickly and efficiently. It encourages parties to engage in meaningful settlement negotiations and can prevent those negotiations from being used against them in court. However, it is important to remember that settlement agreement privilege is not absolute and may have limitations in certain situations. If you are considering a settlement agreement, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to fully understand your rights and obligations.