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Compromise Agreements under the Equality Act

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Everybody's talking about it, so I thought a bulletin might be useful.

On a literal interpretation of s147(5)(d) of the Equality Act 2010, it seems that it is impossible for a solicitor to sign off on a Compromise Agreement so as to settle discrimination claims, meaning that settlements must all go through Acas. Undoubtedly a drafting error, but that's what it seems to say.

So, what to do? The Law Society has asked the Home Secretary and the Government Equalities Office to look into the problem as a matter of urgency- see their practice note. Robin Allen QC of Cloisters has set out his views in a superbly argued briefing note as to why, in fact, s147 doesn't prohibit compromise agreements. But he recognises only a court can provide an authoritative determination.

The best summary of the different views (including my own) is here.