Part 36 Offers: Solomon v Cromwell Group Plc

Summary: The Court of Appeal has confirmed in Solomon v Cromwell Group Plc that the acceptance of a Claimant’s offer under Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules to settle a claim before the commencement of proceedings gives rise to an entitlement on the part of the Claimant to its legal costs incurred up to the point of acceptance, even though proceedings have not started nor will start thereafter.

The ruling is an important clarification by the Court of Appeal because the general rule is that in the absence of a contractual right to recover legal costs, a claiming party is not entitled to recover pre-action costs if the defending party satisfies the claim before the issue of proceedings. However that general rule was inconsistent with the scheme contained in Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules which expressly refers to the possibility of offers under Part 36 being made (and therefore accepted) prior to the issue of proceedings. For further information speak to Julian Johnstone or Marie-Louise King, Partners in Druces’ Litigation & Dispute Resolution team

Relevant to: Legal Practitioners and Litigants

Litigation & Dispute Resolution Briefing Note, Solomon v Cromwell (Jan 2012)

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