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  • Using the right language is important: a deed should read like a deed.
  • Beware of boilerplate: a release in general terms is likely to be limited by the real context of the dispute.
  • Context is everything in construing the scope of releases, so be sure the recitals accurately reflect the relevant circumstances.

A deed of release is the usual bookend of a solicitor’s engagement with a matter. Most disputes will be compromised, and long-standing legal relationships (in particular, those of employment) will be concluded in terms that at least include mutual release.

These releases will be, in common practice, articulated in a ‘deed of release’, by which designation is meant no more than an agreement executed as a deed containing releases by either or both parties of obligations or causes of action against the other.

The purpose of this article is to provide some practical guidance for practitioners in the position of drafting deeds of release.

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