Calderbank offers in family proceedings

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Calderbank offers in family proceedings
  • Background
  • The ‘no order as to costs’ provision
  • The impact of conduct on costs
  • The clean sheet in relation to costs
  • Determining when Calderbank offers are admissible
  • Proceedings where Calderbank offers are not admissible
  • Proceedings where Calderbank offers are admissible
  • Interim orders
  • Maintenance pending suit
  • More...

Calderbank offers in family proceedings

A Calderbank offer is a settlement offer marked ‘without prejudice save as to costs’. Whether a Calderbank offer is admissible, and what weight will be given to it, will depend on the nature of the proceedings. It is named after the case of Calderbank v Calderbank. Where applicable, a Calderbank offer will only be brought to the attention of the court at the end of proceedings, after judgment has been given, and when the issue of costs is being considered. Therefore, if there is a possibility that a costs order may be made by the court (which will be determined by the type of proceedings that are taking place), the parties should consider making a reasonable Calderbank offer to settle which, if refused by the other party, will be considered by the court and may provide some costs protection to the offeror.

Prior to 2006, Calderbank offers were frequently made in family proceedings and it was common practice for judges to make costs orders at the conclusion of financial proceedings following a consideration of Calderbank offers. However, the Family Proceedings (Amendment) Rules 2006, SI 2006/352, amended the Family Proceedings Rules 1991 (superseded by the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010)) and Calderbank offers are now of limited application in financial remedy proceedings, but are still relevant in certain types of family

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