In legal proceedings, there are some tactical steps which can be made by a party, especially the Claimant in the proceedings. One of those tactical steps is a Part 36 offer which is essentially a proposal made by one party to end the dispute and settle. It is considered as a method of potentially protecting your client’s situation with costs or even as a way of putting added pressure on the other party to settle or even slip up with a quick rash decision. This decision could be made worse if the other party does not accept whatever the proposal is and ends up costing more by way of costs and even possibly interest. A Part 36 offer is usually made at certain times of within the proceedings and the legal advisers will be key to deciding the right time and may actually be that the offer is considered as unnecessary to be made in the form of Part 36 but in fact as a behind closed doors offer in the form of a Without Prejudice Save as to Costs letter.
Some consider a Part 36 offer to be all about costs and is a step too far if another proposal in another form can be made. It must be made in a specific way but can actually be made at any stage of proceedings. Although we know that it is made under Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules, specifically it is under the Civil Procedure (Amendment No 8) Rules 2014 (SI 2014/3299). Within the detail of these Rules the issue of costs is determined through CPR 36.5. It states that only an offer made in accordance with CPR 36.5 will have the consequences specified in section I of Part 36. This means that if any other costs issue is put forward to the court such as through CPR 44.2, the added allowance made through Part 36 is that a court have additional powers to order potential interest and costs on different aspects of the claim and yet this is not the case through CPR 44.2 so means there are further consequences if a Part 36 offer is made.
Of course, the law is all about compliance so if a Part 36 offer is made, it must be in accordance with the Part 36 Rules. Those requirements can be administrative regarding how to it is issued or even circumstantial such as what aspect of a claim or even a counterclaim or Appeal. These claims can also be made in part or withdrawn. Essentially it is very important that compliance is followed very formally because it could have great consequences if issues are raised. If the offer is accepted it would be seen that by the party who issued the claim can end the dispute in better time, save cost and delays and then move on with their lives.
We at Lawdit have a specialist team who work in litigation and have dealt with many Part 36 offers over the years. If you are a litigant in person and wish to discuss the above in further, call us today. It may be that you are considering issuing proceedings and need some general advice moving forward.