Friday, 1 June 2012

Making an offer to settle a claim

Do you know that a Claimant or Defendant can put forward an offer to settle their claim at any time during proceedings to include prior to commencement of Court proceedings and during any Appeal process.   You need to ensure that this is done in compliance with Part 36 of the Civil Procedures Rules.  If the offer is not made following the correct format set out under the Civil Procedure Rules then even  a minor formal or technical defect would be fatal to your entitlement in respect of the offer to settle as can be seen in the latest case of several cases that have failed due to technical issues PHI Group Limited v Robert West Consulting Limited Citation: [2012] EWCA Civ 588 where a minor error proved fatal

 (1) A Part 36 offer must –

(a) be in writing; you should state separately at the top of the letter  i.e. This is a Part 36 offer subject to payment of my costs”

(b) within the body of the letter you should state that the letter is intended to have the consequences of Section I of Part 36;

(c) you should specify a period of not less than 21 days within which the defendant will be liable for the claimant's costs in accordance with rule 36.10 if the offer is accepted;

(d) You should make it absolutely clear whether it relates to the whole of the claim or to part of the claim it or to an issue that arises in the claim and if so to which part or issue; and

(e) you must clarify whether it takes into account any counterclaim.

If your claim is not straightforward and includes an offer for claim for provisional damages or if it is a personal injury matter and it involves a claim for future pecuniary loss.  Different rules apply.

In those circumstances please do not hesitate to contact us and we will assist you to prepare an appropriate Part 36 Offer to Settle Letter.

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