All inclusive

An Interest Exclusive Part 36 Offer Is Not A Part 36 Offer

Can a Part 36 Offer which excludes interest be validly made either generally or in the context of proceedings?

It is been an issue on which a number of judges have held diverging views.

In the present case, His Honour Judge Dight CBE, upholding Deputy Master Campbell’s first instance decision, had concluded that an offer exclusive of interest cannot be a valid Part 36 offer.

In contrast, in a matter we reported in May, Horne v Prescot (No 1) Ltd [2019] EWHC 1322 (QB), Nicol J, dismissing an appeal from Master Nagalingam, held that, at least in the context of detailed assessment proceedings, an offer excluding interest can be an effective Part 36 offer.

So, what is the answer?

The Just Rewards Of A Good Part 36 Offer

CPR 36.17 And The Just Rewards Of A Good Part 36 Offer

Mr Justice O’Farrell rounded up the authorities on CPR 36.17 and found that a Claimant who had beaten its own Part 36 Offer of £875,000 by less than £5,000 was nonetheless entitled to the benefits conferred by the rule, including enhanced interest on damages and costs, indemnity costs from 21 days after the date of the offer and an additional amount of £65,123.77.

MR v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1970

High Court upholds a Claimant’s Part 36 Offer for nil damages in an action against the police

Allowing an appeal from a decision of HHJ Baucher in the Central London County Court Mrs Justice McGowan found than an offer to accept “nil pounds with an admission of liability plus reasonable costs, to be assessed if not agreed” made by a claimant in the course of an action against the police for false imprisonment and assault was a “significant concession” and therefore a genuine Part 36 offer.

JLE v Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Trust Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 1582 (QB)

High Court restores Claimant‘s ’additional amount’ under CPR 36.17(4)

This was an appeal against the decision of Master McCloud not to award the claimant a 10% ‘additional amount’ under CPR 36.17(4) on grounds that it would be disproportionate and unjust to do so where the claimant had beaten its own offer by just £7,000 on a bill assessed at £431,813.05.

HORNE v PRESCOT (NO.1) LTD [2019] EWHC 1322 (QB)

Interest exclusive Part 36 Offers in detailed assessment proceedings

Disagreeing with Judge Robert Owen QC in Potter v Sally Montague (Nottingham CC), HHJ Nicol found that a Part 36 Offer made in proceedings and expressed to be exclusive of interest was a valid Part 36 Offer.

INVISTA v BOTES AND OTHERS [2019] EWHC 1086 (Ch)

CPR 36.17(4) and the sometimes ‘unjust’ consequences of Part 36

In this rare costs decision following a breach of confidence claim from their ex-employers, a multinational corporation, the defendants successfully persuaded HHJ Birss that despite his finding that the claimant had achieved a more advantageous outcome than their own Part 36 offer under CPR 36.17(1)(b), it would be unjust pursuant to CPR 36.17(4) to order that the usual costs consequences should apply.

CALONNE CONSTRUCTION LTD v DAWNUS SOUTHERN LTD [2019] EWCA CIV 754

Court of Appeal upholds validity of Part 36 Offer

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a challenge to the validity of a Part 36 Offer on grounds that i) it was made in respect of both a claim and a proposed counterclaim which had yet to be pleaded; and it ii) contained provision for interest to accrue at a particular rate after the expiry of the “Relevant Period”