Kerry Underwood

PART 36 AND STAYS

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The matters dealt with in this piece are examined in great detail in my three volume, 1,300 page book Personal Injury Small Claims, Portals and Fixed Costs – price £50 and available from Underwoods Solicitors here.

Kerry Underwood offers consultancy services in relation to this and other matters and details are here.

In

Campbell v Ministry of Defence [2019] EWHC 2121 (QB)

the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court rejected the claimant’s application that he be excused from the normal costs consequences of late acceptance of a Part 36 offer, that is having to pay the defendant’s costs for work done after expiry of the period for acceptance.

The fact that the evidence was incomplete was irrelevant:

“…  in personal injury claims as in other litigation, offers to settle are often made at an early stage when the evidence is incomplete (either on liability or quantum or both). In those circumstances, it is the job of the claimant’s advisers to weigh up the merits of the Part 36 offer and give the claimant appropriate advice”.

So far so good, and pretty obvious and following previous authority.

The significance of the judgment is in the court ruling that the claimant could, and should, have protected himself on the costs consequences of Part 36 by applying for a stay of the proceedings until he was in receipt of the necessary information.

“Importantly, had a stay been granted then the defendant would not have incurred costs after the time for acceptance of the offer had expired”.

Parties who are genuinely unable to evaluate an offer due to needing further information that will not immediately be available should always consider applying for a stay, something which in my experience is very rarely considered.

Written by kerryunderwood

October 31, 2019 at 8:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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