COVID-19- WE ARE  OPEN FOR BUSINESS AND HERE TO HELP
logo
NEED LEGAL ADVICE, CALL US NOW
0808-164-4106
EXISTING CLIENTS TEL 0808-169-5677

A Brief Guide To Part 36 Offers

A Brief Guide To Part 36 Offers

A Part 36 offer is a powerful tool designed to encourage parties to settle early, thus reducing costs and court time.  Part 36 offers are usually employed strategically and regardless of whether you are offeror or offeree, advice from an expert civil litigation lawyer is essential.  This is because if a Part 36 offer is rejected and not beaten at trial, a party can be liable for some or all of the other side’s costs, even if they win the case.  And in complex commercial cases, costs can easily run to six figures.

The law surrounding Part 36 offers is complex.  Below is a brief guide as to how and why they are used and the associated risks.

What is a Part 36 offer?

Part 36 offers refer to case settlement offers made pursuant to Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).   Lord Justice Moore-Bick described Part 36 offers in Gibbon v Manchester City Council [2010] EWCA Civ 726, [2011] 2 All ER 258 as:

“to encourage settlement and to enable those who make sensible offers to protect themselves against liability for the costs incurred in the continuation of proceedings to no ultimate advantage.”

Part 36 offers can be entered into at any time during the claim proceedings, including throughout the trial.  They are usually related to monetary claims but can be used in other scenarios, such as dealing with declaratory actions.

Part 36 offers must state a ‘relevant period’ in which it can be accepted.  The ‘relevant period cannot be less than 21 days.  If the Part 36 offer is accepted within the ‘relevant period’, the Claimant can recover most costs (legal fees and expenses relating to the case, such as expert fees) up until the acceptance date.  If the offer is accepted after the ‘relevant period’ has expired, the Court can decide on liability for costs if the parties cannot reach an agreement between themselves.

Can a Part 36 offer be amended or withdrawn?

If the offeree has not accepted the Part 36 offer, then the offer can be amended or withdrawn but only by way of written notice.   Change or withdrawal at this stage will result in the Part 36 cost consequences terminating.

If the ‘relevant period’ has expired the offer can be withdrawn or changed without the Court’s permission.  However, until the ‘relevant period’ expires, a Part 36 offer cannot be amended or withdrawn in a way that makes it less advantageous to the offeree unless permission from the Court is granted.

The consequences of not accepting a Part 36 offer

One of the reasons Part 36 offers are so tactically important in a civil litigation claim is non-acceptance can result in serious consequences.  This is because Part 36 offers are specifically designed to encourage early settlement.  Generally, if you receive a Part 36 offer and do not accept, should the judge at trial award compensation less than the Part 36 offer, you will only receive the lower amount and may be ordered to pay a proportion of the other party’s legal costs.

It is important to note that Part 36 offers are made without prejudice, meaning if it is rejected and the trial proceeds, the judge will not know a Part 36 offer has been tabled until after he or she has made their decision and are considering who should pay the litigation costs.

In summary

By making a Part 36 offer you can focus your opponent’s mind on achieving a settlement.  Experienced litigation lawyers understand the ramifications of when and how to offer or accept a Part 36 offer and how you can protect yourself from having to pay the other party’s costs should your case not succeed.

Latest News Posts

Have you ever heard of forensic accounting? If not, it's a term to describe the process of using accounting skills […]

Employees who meet specific eligibility requirements have the right to make a Flexible Working Request.  Those employees then have the […]

An employer needs their employees to perform tasks to ensure the smooth running of the business.  However, the law does […]

1 2 3 26
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST NEWS
Sign up for our monthly newsletters for the latest news & articles
At Wilford Smith we are invested in your success. Our team will get to know you, your family, your business, and your market sector. To us, you and needs are unique. You can be confident that by instructing us, we will take care of all your legal matters throughout your lifetime, providing creative solutions and protecting your best interests.

CONTACT  US

SHEFFIELD

  • Meadowhall Business Park
  • S9 2EQ
  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572

ROTHERHAM

  • Smithy House 22 Westgate,
  • Rotherham S60 1AP
  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572

LONDON

  • 20 Old Bailey
  • LondonEC4M 7AN
  • By appointment only
Copyright ©2022 Wilford Smith, All rights reserved.
2022 Wilford Smith is the trading name of WS Strategic Ltd. a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 07777022. Registered office – Meadowhall Business Park, Sheffield S9 2EQ. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Registration Number 640898.