The phrase ‘without prejudice’ on a document, or stated in a meeting, enable a party (or its advisors) to put forward a proposal which cannot prejudice the proposing party if found unacceptable. Essentially they protect and prevent the proposal from being put before a court or tribunal.
This allows the parties (or their agents) to negotiate openly, and explore potential for settlement without making binding offers i.e. without prejudicing their position in respect of what may be presented such as Expert Evidence, if discussions become contentious and subject to formal dispute resolution procedures.
A legal term applied to negotiations and correspondence intended to make anything said, or offers made, privileged, and without being subject to forced Disclosure in the event of litigation or Arbitration.