- Costs order where a dishonest claimant accepts a Part 36 offer out of time (Tuson v Murphy)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Dispute Resolution analysis: The claimant brought a personal injury claim against the defendant. She asserted that her injuries were extremely serious and precluded her from working. Subsequently, she acquired a franchise to run a playgroup. This detail was not revealed to her own solicitors nor to experts who examined her. Indeed, she signed a schedule of loss reinforced by a statement of truth which made no mention of her having resumed work. The franchise was not a success and the claimant relinquished it. After uncovering this information the defendant made a net Part 36 offer of £299,251 to settle the action. The 21-day period for acceptance under Part 36 expired on 8 October 2015. Just before trial, the claimant belatedly accepted the offer on 1 December 2015. At first instance HHJ Charles Harris QC held that the claimant should be punished for her dishonesty and directed that she recover costs only up to 1 April 2014 which was when she had served the dishonest evidence. She was to pay costs to the defendant thereafter. The Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the decision and gave the claimant her costs up to 21 days after the Part 36 offer had been made. She was to pay the defendant from that point until settlement. Analysis by Professor Dominic Regan, City Law School, London. Special advisor to the Association of Costs Lawyers.
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