Evelyn Horne v Prescot (No. 1) Limited [2019] EWHC 1322 (QB)



Judge: Nicol J

Citation: [2019] EWHC 1322 (QB)

Part 36 offers exclusive of interest – Part 36

Summary:

The Court held it was prudent of the solicitors to specify that the offer was exclusive of interest, otherwise the effect of the Practice Direction would be that the offer would be treated as being inclusive of interest.

Longer Text:

In detailed assessment proceedings, the Claimant receiving party made a Part 36 offer to accept £82,000 “exclusive of interest”. On assessment, the costs of the action were assessed at £91,807. It was the Defendant’s case that an offer “exclusive of interest” was not an offer within Part 36.  The Court held that where an offer to settle is made, whether under Part 36 or otherwise, it should specify whether or not it is intended to be inclusive of the costs of preparation of the bill, interest and VAT. Unless the offer states otherwise, it will be treated as inclusive of these. In the circumstances of a detailed assessment, interest would be payable on the costs and the costs of the detailed assessment proceedings, but that would be added automatically by virtue of the Judgments Act 1838 and did not need to be claimed. It was prudent of the solicitors to specify that the offer was exclusive of interest, otherwise the effect of the Practice Direction would be that the offer would be treated as being inclusive of interest (at least until the conclusion of the relevant period).  The validity of the Part 36 offer was not affected by the inclusion of the words “exclusive of interest”.

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