Release [of Claims]

An agreement to forego certain claims against other parties. Releases may be limited or general.  A limited release is one that goes to certain specified claims, or releases certain specified parties from liability; a general release is either: (a) a release of all claims against a party or parties; or (b) a release of a claim or claims against all parties. In other words the ‘general’ in general release can relate to the claims, the parties, or both.

Care should be taken when considering releases limited as to parties where there are multiple liable parties, since some precedents in English common law suggest that a limited release of a single jointly-liable party, where there is for example joint-and-several liability, made without the consent of the other liable part(y)ies acts as a release of all part(y)ies. The author has successfully used this rule in landlord-tenant pro-bono matters. The rationale behind the rule is to prevent one liable party from being treated unduly favourably to the others. Quit Claim is a near-synonym for release. See Disclaimer.

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