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Settlement Deed

Deed of Settlement – Do you need it?

We often see parties in a dispute indicate their intentions to resolve their issues as early and swiftly as possible but often wonder how to resolve their legal matter and document it.

Here’s an answer for you, “By entering into a Deed of Settlement”. Read this article and understand the basic features of a Deed of Settlement in a commercial dispute context.

What is a Deed of Settlement?

Regardless if a court proceeding has been commenced, parties in commercial disputes generally can settle their differences and bring the legal matter to an end at any time before a Judge delivers his/her judgment/ decision. Therefore, it is quite common to see the parties’ lawyers exchanging letters or emails containing offers to settle and also hold settlement conferences. This is often an important exercise to see if the parties can meet in the middle.

Where the material terms are agreed, the parties should enter into a Deed of Settlement, which is essentially a document setting out how the matter has resolved and on what terms as well as their respective obligations.

Why have a Deed of Settlement?

If you are settling a legal dispute, you will want a Deed of Settlement because:

1. It provides for the parties’ respective obligations (whether it is payment of money or doing of an act);
2. It prevents further legal actions surrounding the same issue against you;
3. It always sets out the consequences of default;
4. It helps end the matter efficiently, avoiding lengthy and expensive legal proceedings;
5. It is a confidential agreement so you are not admitting any wrongdoing; and
6. It is a binding agreement between the parties and can be enforced in court if necessary.

How to execute a Deed of Settlement validly?

When executing a Deed of Settlement, it is important to keep in mind:

1. If you are signing a Deed of Settlement as an individual, your signature should always be witnessed by another who’s not party to the dispute. Your lawyer is often an ideal candidate;
2. If you are signing a Deed of Settlement on behalf of a company, it is important that section 127 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) is complied with, meaning at least one director and one secretary sign the Deed and in the case of sole director and sole secretary, that director must sign; and
3. Other rules and principles may apply if you are signing on behalf of partnerships and trusts.

It is always very important to keep copies of the fully signed Deed of Settlement and Ryan Murdoch O’Regan Lawyers can help you.

Do you need a Deed of Settlement?

As discussed above, when you reach an agreement, it is always a good idea to capture the terms carefully in writing to give you peace of mind.

Contact Us

Are you involved in a legal dispute? Contact Ryan Murdoch O’Regan who can assist you in resolving your legal dispute. Call 1800 999 529, email or submit an enquiry.

We are available to meet with you at any of our local offices (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Beenleigh, Cleveland and Jimboomba) or by telephone or video-conference.

This article is for your information and interest only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and it does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice. You must seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances.

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