What Is A Part 36 Offer? Understanding Part 36 Offers In Civil Cases
If you are involved in a civil legal case, you may be wondering, what is a Part 36 offer? It can be a very important moment in a legal matter, so let’s take a look at what it means.
A Part 36 offer is an offer made in legal proceedings to try and settle a claim. It refers to Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules which govern the way in which civil cases are conducted.
It is important to take expert legal advice if you have received an offer to settle a claim you are making as there can be serious implications in accepting, including in relation to payment of legal costs.
Similarly, if you do not accept a Part 36 offer and you fail to receive a better settlement at court, you would usually be required to pay the other side’s costs as well as your own.
For this reason, it is essential to have the guidance of a solicitor with expertise in the area of law in which your claim falls. At Solicitors Near Me, we connect clients with lawyers in a wide range of sectors, ensuring that you are represented by a genuine expert who can give you the guidance and advice you need.
We select solicitors who have a reputation of excellence in their field as well as the highest standards of client care. This means that as well as receiving the benefit of legal expertise in your case, you can be sure that your lawyer will be easy to contact and keep you up to date with progress.
Our solicitors include experts in commercial claims, contentious probate, personal injury, employment litigation, landlord and tenant disputes, professional negligence claims, family law and every other area of law that you might need help with.
What Is A Part 36 Offer?
A Part 36 offer is an offer made by one side in a legal case to settle a claim. By way of example, if you have been involved in a car accident and your solicitor is making a claim against an insurance company on your behalf, the insurer may offer you a sum of money to settle your case. This is a common occurrence and avoids the need for a court case.
The offer is made on what is called a ‘without prejudice’ basis, meaning that if your case does go to court, the offer will not be seen by the judge until after a ruling has been made.
Part 36 offers are a negotiating tactic used by those facing claims. The amount offered will have been carefully considered. If you refuse a Part 36 offer but you are later awarded less money than was offered, you will usually be required to pay the other side’s legal costs from the date of the Part 36 offer onwards.
How Is A Part 36 Offer Made?
The Civil Procedure Rules state that a Part 36 offer must be made:
- In writing
- State that it is made pursuant to Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules
- Give a period of at least 21 days in which to accept the offer, during which the defendant will be liable for the claimant’s costs if the offer is accepted
- State whether the offer relates to the whole claim or part of the claim and whether it deals with any counterclaim that is being made
The offer can be made at any time, including before proceedings start.
Costs Liabilities Under Part 36 Offers
Legal costs when a Part 36 offer is made are dealt with in the following way, unless it would be unjust to do so:
- If the Part 36 offer is accepted within the timeframe set out in the offer, the claimant is entitled to recover their costs of the proceedings up until the date the offer is accepted
- If the offer is accepted after the deadline set out in the offer, the claimant can claim their costs up until the deadline and the other party is entitled to have their costs paid after this date, unless otherwise agreed between the parties
- If the claimant equals or beats the offer at trial, they are entitled to their costs up until the offer deadline, to be paid on the standard basis, and their costs from that date onwards paid on the indemnity basis, which is at the rate that their solicitor would have charged them and can be higher than the standard rate
- Interest on costs is paid at 10% above base rate
- Interest on the damages payment is payable at 10% above the base rate from the end date of the deadline to accept the offer
- If the claimant does not equal or beat the defendant’s offer, then they will be awarded their costs until the end of the deadline specified in the offer. After that date, the claimant will be required to pay the defendant’s costs plus interest.
A Part 36 offer remains open until and unless it is withdrawn by the party making the offer, usually the defendant in a case.
Should I Accept A Part 36 Offer?
Defendants and their solicitors are skilled at making carefully calculated Part 36 offers. Because there is a financial risk in turning down a Part 36 offer, claimants can feel pressured into accepting a lower offer than they might receive at court.
An expert claims solicitor will be able to advise you of the amount you might recover at court and whether you would be wise to accept the offer or not.
If you refuse the offer, you may receive a better offer, although this is not guaranteed.
Because the offer will remain on the table unless specifically withdrawn, you solicitor will review it periodically during your case to see whether you would be advised to accept it as the case progresses and developments occur.
Representation In Civil Claims
It is important to choose the right solicitor for your civil claim who will be able to put together a strong case on your behalf and negotiate robustly to secure the best possible outcome.
A lawyer with extensive experience will be able to assess an offer on your behalf and advise you of your options.
We can recommend outstanding solicitors across a full range of sectors with excellent reputations for securing the maximum levels of compensation for their clients.
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