Should I make a Part 36 offer to settle my claim?

Part 36 is a provision in the Civil Procedure Rules (which govern the conduct of litigation in England and Wales). It aims to encourage parties to try to settle their disputes by setting out the costs consequences of offers to settle if they are made in accordance with Part 36.

If a party fails to accept a realistic Part 36 offer made by the other side, it is at risk of being penalised in costs and interest at the end of the case. Making such an offer is therefore a legitimate means of putting the other side under pressure to settle, and should not generally be seen as a sign of weakness.

Do you have a claim against a professional? If you want expert legal advice, do not delay in instructing us so we can assess the legal merit of your case. We can often take on such claims on a no win no fee basis (such as a Conditional Fee Arrangement) once we have discussed the claim with you and then assessed and advised you on the merits of the proposed professional negligence action.

Our expert legal team of leading Professional Negligence Solicitors & Barristers can provide urgent help, advice or representation to you. Just call our Professional Negligence Lawyers on 02071830529 or email us now.

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What is a Part 36 offer?

A part 36 offer in the Civil Procedure Rules is a provision which aims to encourage parties to try to settle their disputes by setting out the costs consequences of offers to settle if they are made in accordance with a Part 36. However if a party fails to accept a realistic offer made from the other side there is a risk of penalised costs and interest at the end of the case. Therefore a legitimate offer should be made which puts the other side under pressure to settle. 

When can a Claimant make a Part 36 offer?

Part 36 offers can be made before court proceedings are issued. However Part 36 do not apply to claims that are small claims track (claims that are less than £10,000). 

What are the formalities of a Part 36 offer? 

A Part 36 offer must be in writing which states the consequences of the Part 36 and state the offer that is made to settle the whole claim or only part of it and whether it takes into account any counterclaim. 

Does a Part 36 offer have a time limit for acceptance?

Yes, the relevant period if you decide to make a part 36 offer has to specify a period of at least 21 days within which the other party will be liable for your costs if the offer is accepted. 

Can I withdraw or vary a Part 36 offer? 

Yes, if your Part 36 offer is not time limited you can still withdraw it or change its terms so that it is less advantageous to the other side. If the other side has not already accepted the Part 36 offer you may withdraw or vary this at any time after the relevant period has expired and this will not need the court’s permission.

What happens if the professional accepts the Part 36 offer ?

When you make a Part 36 offer and the Defendant accepted within the relevant period the Defendant will then have to pay the settlement sum and your legal costs however costs to be assessed if not agreed on a standard basis up to date of service of the notice of acceptance. This means that the court will resolve any doubt which it may have as to the costs if they are whether or not reasonable or proportionate. Then the matter will be settled.  

However, if the Defendant accepts the offer after the relevant period has expired then if the parties cannot agree on the liability for costs then the court will make a costs order.  Usually an order will be for the Defendant to pay the Claimant’s legal costs to the date of the acceptance. 

What happens if the professional rejects the Part 36 offer?

If the Defendant rejects your offer and the claim proceeds to trial the trial judge will not be told about the offer until the case has been decided. If the Claimant obtains a judgement which is equal to or more significant then the offer made at the trial then the Defendant will have to pay whatever the amount the court awards you unless if the court considers it unjust. 

In addition to this, the court will order the Defendant to pay the following:

  •  up to 10% interest on the whole or a part of any reward from the date on which the relevant period expired. 
  •  your legal costs on an “indemnity basis”  which is the assessment of the costs incurred after the expiry of the relevant period.
  • An additional amount of 10% of the damages awarded for awards up to £500,000.  but for awards above £500,000 then the additional amount would be 10% of the first £500,000 and then a 5% of any damages awarded above the figure up to an overall limit of £75,000.

Book an Initial Consultation with our Professional Negligence Lawyers

Do you have a claim against a professional? If you want expert legal advice, do not delay in instructing us so we can assess the legal merit of your case.

We can often take on such claims on a no win no fee basis (such as a Conditional Fee Arrangement) once we have discussed the claim with you and then assessed and advised you on the merits of the proposed professional negligence action.

Our expert legal team of leading Professional Negligence Solicitors & Barristers can provide urgent help, advice or representation to you. Just call our Professional Negligence Lawyers on 02071830529 or email us now.

Instruct Specialist Professional Negligence Solicitors

We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers operating from the only law firm based in the Middle Temple Inn of Court adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. Our team have expertise in advising on claims for compensation against professionals that have fallen below the standard expected, which causes clients financial or personal loss. We are experienced in bringing successful claims against negligent solicitors, barristers, financial advisers, insurance brokers, surveyors, valuers, architects, tax advisers and IFAs.

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LIMITATION ACT 1980 – WARNING

The Limitation Act 1980 sets out strict statutory deadlines within which you must bring litigation claims. Your legal rights will become irreversibly time-barred if you fail to take legal action (or defend a claim on time). Therefore, you should seek specific legal advice about your legal dispute at the very first opportunity so that you understand the time you have left. Failure to take advice or delay in taking action can be fatal to your prospects of success.

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