Settling disputes—settlement offers (Calderbank, WPSAC and Part 36)
Produced in partnership with Helen Swaffield of Contract Law Chambers
Settling disputes—settlement offers (Calderbank, WPSAC and Part 36)

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note Produced in partnership with Helen Swaffield of Contract Law Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Settling disputes—settlement offers (Calderbank, WPSAC and Part 36)
  • The different types of settlement offer letter
  • Open offer letter to settle
  • Calderbank offers (or letters)—without prejudice save as to costs (WPSAC)
  • What are the advantages of a Calderbank offer?
  • Disadvantages of Calderbank offers
  • Costs consequences—differences between Calderbank offers and Part 36 offers
  • How to make a Calderbank offer
  • How to make a Part 36 offer
  • Settlement offers and the default costs position
  • more

This Practice Note identifies the different forms which an offer to settle a dispute may take, from open offer letters and Calderbank (without prejudice save as to costs) (WPSAC) letters to Part 36 offer letters; examining their respective advantages and disadvantages, their impact on costs liability and how to draft such offer letters.

For further guidance on without prejudice communications, including Calderbank (WPSAC) letters, see Practice Note: Without prejudice communications, including Calderbank offers—without prejudice save as to costs ('wpsatc').

Although this Practice Note briefly summarises the key aspects of Part 36 offers to settle, for full guidance on all aspects of making, receiving, varying, accepting and rejecting a Part 36 offer and detailed precedents, see subtopic: Part 36 offers—overview.

For guidance on how to document any settlement reached and on drafting settlement agreements, see Practice Notes: Settling disputes—how to document a settlement and Settling disputes—drafting the settlement agreement.

For guidance on why, when and how to settle disputes, see Practice Notes:

  1. Settling disputes—what, when and why settle?

  2. Settling disputes—who, confidentiality and subject to contract

and related content.

The different types of settlement offer letter

There are three types of settlement offer:

  1. an offer made in open correspondence which can be relied upon throughout the proceedings and is visible to all parties, including the judge. This may be equivalent to an admission and is rarely used