Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Part 36 Offers
What is a “Part 36” Offer?
A Part 36 offer: this is where your opponent has made you a formal offer on one or more issues that are currently in dispute. The offer could be in relation to the settlement of your compensation claim or an offer on liability.
- What is the significance of the Part 36 offer?
A The reason why parties made a Part 36 offer is because if you decide to reject their offer and at a later stage (or at a final hearing) you do no better than their offer, you may be responsible for your opponents costs and our costs since the offer was made. Since those costs could be significant it may leave you with little or no compensation. On rare occasions, you may even end up owing legal costs even though you have “technically” won your case. A Claimant and Defendant can both make a Part 36 offer.
- What happens if I reject the offer and proceed all the way to a final hearing?
A The Part 36 offer must never be communicated to the Judge by either party. This will be kept a secret. The trial Judge will then decide the case in the usual way. If the Judge determines that you have done no better than the Defendants Part 36 offer then as explained above, you are responsible to pay the costs since that offer was made. The same applies if you, the Claimant Makes a Part 36 offer.
- Is there a time period to accept or reject the offer?
A This is usually 21 days from the date that the offer was made. If you accept the offer within this 21 day period then there are no cost penalties. If you accept at a later time, then you can only do so with either leave of the Court or with the consent of your opponent. If you do accept out of time, there may be costs penalties you will have to pay since the offer was made.
- What is the position if I wish to reject the Part 36 Offer?
A We shall, of course, advise you as to whether, in all circumstances, the Part 36 offer is reasonable. If, however, you decide to reject the offer against our advice, we may decide to withdraw from the case and ask you to obtain instructions from another firm of solicitors.
However, in rare circumstances, we may still continue to act for your despite the fact that you have rejected the offer against our advice. Should this occur, we will advise you of the conditions attached to our continuing to act for you.
- Does it make any difference that I have a “No Win No Fee” agreement?
A In short, the answer is “no.” You are still subject to the cost risk explained above. However, if you reject a Part 36 offer we may revise our success fee to reflect the risks of pursuing your case further. If you have purchased an after the event insurance policy, we are under a duty to notify your insurers and they will ask us for our advice about whether the Part 36 offer is reasonable.
- What is the position if I have Legal Expenses Cover?
A The position is the same. You are still subject to the cost risk if you reject the Part 36 offer and we are under a duty to notify your Legal Expense Providers of the Part 36 offer.
- Can I make my own Part 36 offer?
A Yes you can also put pressure on your opponent to settle any issue or offer an amount of compensation to them that you will be happy to settle your claim. If you make such an offer then should your opponent do no better than the offer you have put forward, they are responsible to pay additional interest on your damages of up to 10% above base rate and it also makes it a lot easier for us to recover all or the vast majority of our costs from the other side. We would recommend that you make a Part 36 offer when it is possible to do so.
- What do I do next?
A Please read the covering email/letter accompanying this document carefully. Only contact us if you do not wish to made a Part 36 offer.