Q&As

How can a party make an application to abridge the ‘Relevant Period’ (as defined in CPR 36) under CPR 36.17(7)(c), such that a Part 36 offer made less than 21 days before trial can have the cost consequences as set out in CPR 36.17? Does the application need to be made before trial or can it be made at trial? What specific wording would need to be included in the draft order?

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Produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 22/11/2017

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How can a party make an application to abridge the ‘Relevant Period’ (as defined in CPR 36) under CPR 36.17(7)(c), such that a Part 36 offer made less than 21 days before trial can have the cost consequences as set out in CPR 36.17? Does the application need to be made before trial or can it be made at trial? What specific wording would need to be included in the draft order?

CPR 36 provides a self-contained procedural code for the making and accepting of settlement offers (CPR 36.1(1)). It in particular provides for specific costs consequences upon the acceptance (CPR 36.13) or non-acceptance after trial (CPR 36.17) of Part 36 compliant offers. In order for an offer to be Part 36 compliant, it must, amongst other matters, specify a period of not less than 21 days within which the defendant will be liable for the claimant’s costs if the offer is accepted. To this end, the general rule is that Part 36 offers should be made at least 21 days before the start of trial. Offers can be made later, but there are consequences. One is that the requirement to state a period of 21 days for acceptance does not apply, but instead the ‘relevant period’ in respect of the offer will mean instead the period up to the end of the trial, being when judgment is given or handed down (CPR 36.3(d)). If a party wishes to accept such a late offer, permission is required to accept the offer after the start of trial (CPR 36.11(3)(d)), and the automatic costs consequences under CPR 36.13 do not apply whether the late offer is accepted before or after the start of trial, but instead will be decided by the court if the parties cannot agree (CPR

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