Monday, September 30, 2019

Blogging Break

I'll be taking a short break from blogging this week. I'll be back next week, starting with any cases I missed in the interim.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Continuing Disagreement over Unessential Settlement Terms Is Immaterial

Betser-Zilevitch v Nexen Inc 2019 FCA 230 de Montigny JA: Stratas, Webb JJA aff’g 2018 FC 735 Brown J

The parties in this case were engaged in settlement negotiations and advised the Court that “a settlement has been reached, subject to formalization, review and execution by the parties of a formal settlement agreement” [FC 26]. The parties were not able to agree on the details and Betser-Zilevitch purported to withdraw its offer. Nexen moved for a declaration that a settlement had been reached. In the decision under appeal, Brown J found that the parties had indeed entered into a binding settlement agreement covering all essential terms, and he determined the non-essential terms upon which the parties disagreed: see here. The FCA has now affirmed in a brief decision holding that Brown J made no reviewable error [4]. The FCA noted that “The mere fact that the parties disagreed on some of the terms of the agreement when they undertook to formalize it does not make those terms any more essential than those terms over which they agreed. As this Court stated in Allergan [2016 FCA 155, the leading case on when a settlement has been reached], ‘continuing disagreement over unessential terms is immaterial’” [5].