A disingenuous Part 36 Offer does not attract Part 36 consequences when beaten: Gohil v Advantage 2023

On 11 May 2023, District Judge Griffith in Birmingham Civil Justice Centre considered a case in which the Claimant claimed additional Part 36 benefits for beating her Part 36 offer.


The case concerned a low value road traffic accident claim which had been settled by way of Part 36 offer. There was then a dispute as to whether the Claimant was entitled to fixed costs that she had claimed at £4,937.07 or MOJ Portal costs. On 5 November 2021, the Claimant was awarded £4,937.07 in costs but had made a prior offer to settle for £4,937 which was a reduction of 7 pence. Because the Claimant had technically beaten her Part 36 Offer, she sought the additional costs consequences under CPR 36.17 (Costs consequences following judgment).


The case is a rare example of the Court declining to grant the usual consequences of equalling or beating a Part 36 offer, on the basis that it would be “unjust” (see CPR 36.17(3) and (4) for Defendants and Claimants respectively).


In deciding whether it would be unjust to make additional orders the Court must have regard to all the circumstances of the case as well as the factors listed at (a) – (e) CPR 36.17(5).   In his judgment District Judge Griffith concluded  that “a reduction of 7 pence was tantamount to asking the Defendant to completely capitulate its position and was not a “genuine attempt to settle the proceedings”, as per CPR 36.17(5)(e). The Judge concluded that the Part 36 offer was merely a tactical step in order to try and secure the benefits of the Part 36 incentives and (applying Huck v. Robson [2002] EWCA Civ 398) as such those additional awards would not be ordered.

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