The Importance of making a sensible offer

In some areas of Civil Litigation the successful Claimant is only allowed to recover fixed costs from the opponent if their claim is successful.

The problem with that rule is that very often the costs incurred in bringing the claim are far higher than the fixed costs that one is allowed to recover from the losing party.

This leaves the winner having to pay the often significant shortfall.

However, The Court of Appeal have just handed down judgment in the case of Broadhurst and Anor v Tan and Anor.

The judgment will give hope to all Claimants’ that are subject to the fixed costs regime.

In Broadhurst, Lord Justice Dyson gave judgment to the effect that if a Claimant makes an offer to settle under part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules and recovers more than the offer at trial , the winning party is entitled to recover their costs ( subject to assessment by the court ) and will not be constrained to only recover fixed costs.

This means that the successful Claimant will recover far more of their legal costs than they would under the fixed costs regime.

This decision can now give some hope to Claimants that if they make sensible offers to settle at an early stage, they stand a far better chance of recovering the lion’s share of their legal charges if they go to court and receive more than their original offer.

Ballantyne Grant is a specialist litigation practice. If you require any advice on any issue arising from this article please contact Andrew Grant on 01244 394 230.

This article is for general interest only. It is not intended as specific legal advice.

civil litigation