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Settlement options explained
It is important to keep settlement in mind at all stages of litigation proceedings. The Civil Procedure Rules and the Courts encourage settlement of disputes in a number of ways.
Part 36 Offers
A Part 36 offer is an offer by you or the Defendant to settle the claim that complies with the requirements in Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules. The rules have specific costs consequences where there has been a Part 36 offer that was not accepted, and the party to whom the offer was made then fails to achieve a better result at trial.
Part 36 offers can be an important tactical step in litigation, as they put pressure on the other side to settle the case and, to some extent, protect the offeror's position on costs. If, during your case, you wish to offer a Part 36 offer, we will advise you about the implications of making or accepting such an offer.
Calderbank offers may be used as an alternative to Part 36 offers. The difference between the two being that there are no mandatory costs consequences when the losing party fails to beat the term offered in the Calderbank offers.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is all other dispute resolution methods other than Court proceedings. This could include arbitration, adjudication (in the event of the dispute involving construction), formal mediation or a without prejudice round table meeting.
ADR is highly encouraged over issuing Court proceedings because it lowers costs and encourages settlement between the parties. The Courts are making increased enquiries of parties as to what ADR has been explored prior to and during proceedings, and taking this into account when considering what costs order should be made at the end of a trial.
Although the Court cannot order the parties to enter into ADR, it may impose costs penalties on a party who unreasonably refuses to participate in a form of ADR.
If there are any prospects of settling, it is usually better to do so sooner rather than later, to avoid further legal costs. To find out more about potential ways to settle your case, contact Laura Blakemore on 023 8071 7412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.