What is a Part 36 offer?
A Part 36 Offer is a formal offer to try and settle a claim. The offer can be made by either the Claimant (the person making the claim) or the Defendant (the person whom the claim is being made against) at any time during a claim.
What does a Part 36 Offer involve?
Part 36 Offers can be made for either of the following issues:-
- A party can offer to resolve the issue of liability by stating the level of apportionment they are prepared to accept;
- A party can state how much they are prepared to settle the claim in monetary terms. Any offers on the value of the claim are intended to be without any admission on liability. This means that an offer does not necessarily mean that a party is admitting liability.
- A party can make an offer for both items 1 and 2 at the same time.
What to do when you receive an offer
A Part 36 Offer can be accepted within 21 days of it being made. However, after 21 days the party making the offer does have the right to withdraw the offer as though the offer was never made.
Part 36 Offers are intended to put pressure on a party and in turn there are costs consequences arising from this.
In particular, if the offer is rejected but you then fail to beat the offer at a later trial or settlement, you would be responsible for the other party’s costs from the date of when you could have accepted the offer (i.e. after the expiry of the 21 days) up until settlement of the claim. This means that your compensation is likely to be swallowed up by legal costs.
However, if you beat the offer then the other side will be responsible for all of your costs.
It is important a Part 36 Offer is considered carefully when made by another party.
Guide to possible scenarios for Part 36 Offers
|A Part 36 Offer has been made and has been accepted within the 21 day time limit||>>>||The Claim is brought to an end and you should expect to receive payment within 14 days.Your opponent will also pay your legal costs.||None|
|A Part 36 Offer has been made but the offer is accepted outside the 21 day period||>>>||Again, the claim is brought to an end.||The Offer can only be accepted on the basis that the parties agree the liability for costs. In other words, you would be entitled to payment of your costs up to and including the expiry of the Part 36 Offer, however you will have to pay the other side’s costs incurred after the expiry of the Offer unless the Court rules otherwise.|
|A Part 36 Offer is rejected||>>>
|There are two options:1. At this stage, you may wish to make an offer of your own; or2. The case proceeds to a final Hearing whereby the Court makes a decision on the case.In such cases, the Judge will not be told about the Offer until he/she has given their judgment.||If you beat the opponent’s offer, no costs implications arise and you will be entitled to recover your legal costs from the other side.If you fail to beat the opponent’s offer, you will be entitled to payment of your costs up to and including the expiry of the Part 36 Offer, however you will have to pay the other side’s costs incurred after the expiry of the Offer unless the Court rules otherwise.|
At Linder Myers, we have a dedicated personal injury solicitor who has extensive experience of dealing with Part 36 Offers. If you would like more information, please contact us to find out more.