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Pursuant to CPR 3.1(2)(i), the court has the power to order ‘a separate trial of any issue’ that arises during proceedings. Such a split trial will often occur in proceedings relating to commercial or construction disputes, particularly to deal with issues of liability before considering quantum.
In the context of Part 36 offers, as indicated in Practice Note: Part 36 offers—split trial cases, a case is 'decided' and proceedings are deemed to end when all issues in the case have been determined, whether at one or more trials.
Issues with Part 36 offers and split trials in the context of awarding costs was highlighted in Ted Baker v AXA, where a Part 36 offer had been made which did not contain specific provision to cover the situation of split trials. At the conclusion of the trial on liability, only the judge, alive to the possibility that Part 36 offers might have been made, but not being in a position to direct that he could be told of their existence and/or their terms, refrained from ordering costs after the liability trial in the absence of being able to be given such information.
The amendments to Part 36 in April 2015 included provision to deal with this in the form of CPR 36.16(3)(d) and CPR 36.16(4), such that, where a case has not y
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