CPR 36.5: Making a Part 36 Offer


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The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) are essential for the structured and fair conduct of civil litigation in England and Wales. CPR 36 specifically deals with Part 36 offers to settle, providing a mechanism for parties to encourage settlement and avoid prolonged litigation. Understanding the requirements of CPR 36.5, which outlines the form and content of a Part 36 offer, is crucial for both legal practitioners and litigants.

This is because if a Part 36 Offer is to be valid and have the specific costs consequences allowed under CPR 36.17, it must be constructed in a certain manner.  If the Part 36 Offer is found to have been written incorrectly, then it cannot be relied upon for the purposes of its benefits at any final hearing.

Part 36 Offers can be used in civil litigation at all stages, either for damages or in the scope of detailed assessment proceedings, for costs.

Form and content of a Part 36 Offer under CPR 36.5


CPR 35.5 states the following:

“(1) A Part 36 offer must—

(a) be in writing;

(b) make clear that it is made pursuant to Part 36;

(c) specify a period of not less than 21 days within which the defendant will be liable for the claimant’s costs in accordance with rule 36.13 or 36.23 if the offer is accepted;

(d) state whether it relates to the whole of the claim or to part of it or to an issue that arises in it and if so to which part or issue; and

(e) state whether it takes into account any counterclaim.

(Rule 36.7 makes provision for when a Part 36 offer is made.)

(2) Paragraph (1)(c) does not apply if the offer is made less than 21 days before the start of a trial.

(3) In appropriate cases, a Part 36 offer must contain such further information as is required by rule 36.18 (personal injury claims for future pecuniary loss), rule 36.19 (offer to settle a claim for provisional damages), and rule 36.20 (deduction of benefits).

(4) A Part 36 offer which offers to pay or offers to accept a sum of money will be treated as inclusive of all interest until—

(a) the date on which the period specified under rule 36.5(1)(c) expires; or

(b) if rule 36.5(2) applies, a date 21 days after the date the offer was made.

(5) A Part 36 offer to accept a sum of money may make provision for accrual of interest on such sum after the date specified in paragraph (4). If such an offer does not make any such provision, it shall be treated as inclusive of all interest up to the date of acceptance if it is later accepted.”

Put simply, to be valid, a Part 36 offer must adhere to specific requirements:

  • Written Offer: The offer must be in writing and state it is a Part 36 Offer.
  • Clear Terms: The terms must be clear and unambiguous.  In respect of an offer for costs, the offer must include an offer for costs plus the interest accrued to date, but must not include detailed assessment costs.
  • Specified Period: The offer must specify a period of at least 21 days within which the offer can be accepted (the “relevant period”).
  • Scope: It must state whether it relates to the whole of the claim or to part of it.
  • Costs: It should include an offer to pay the costs incurred by the other party up to the date of acceptance.

Making and withdrawing a Part 36 Offer:

Under CPR 35.7, Part 36 offers can be made at any time, including before proceedings are issued. They can’t be withdrawn or varied within the relevant period unless Court permission is given.  However, after the relevant period has expired, a Part 36 offer can be withdrawn without issue, and can also be set to automatically withdraw after the relevant period, so long as this is set out as part of the terms of the offer.

If a mistake is made in a Part 36 Offer and it is obvious, then the parties should agree by consent that the offer should withdraw on expiry of the relevant period.

For the avoidance of doubt, a Part 36 Offer cannot be withdrawn after it has been accepted. 

Consequences of accepting a Part 36 Offer


Accepting a Part 36 offer has significant implications for the settlement of a case and the subsequent cost consequences under CPR 36.17.

Full and Final Settlement:

Acceptance results in a binding agreement between the parties on the terms specified in the Part 36 offer. This effectively concludes the dispute, or the part of the dispute covered by the offer.  Any damages or costs agreed by way of a Part 36, must be paid within 14 days unless otherwise agreed, failing which a judgment order for the agreed amount can be obtained.

Scope of Settlement:

The settlement may pertain to the entire claim or specific issues within the claim, as outlined in the Part 36 offer.

A Part 36 Offer can also be made within the scope of detailed assessment proceedings, with any references in the rules to “Trial”, equally applying to any provisional or attended detailed assessment hearing.

Consent Order or Judgment:

The parties may request the Court to issue a consent order or judgment reflecting the terms of the accepted offer, thereby formalising the settlement.

No Further Litigation:

Once a Part 36 Offer is accepted, the matter is settled, and the court proceedings are stayed (put on hold) following notification to the Court.

Entitlement to Costs:

The offeree (the party accepting the offer) is entitled to recover their legal costs incurred up to the date of acceptance. This includes solicitor fees, disbursements, and any other litigation-related expenses.

Within the context of detailed assessment proceedings, this would mean that the Receiving Party is entitled to their detailed assessment costs in addition to any Part 36 costs offer accepted.

Detailed Assessment:

If the parties cannot agree on the costs, the offeree may seek a detailed assessment of their costs by the court.  Acceptance of a Part 36 Offer is considered a deemed costs order, off the back of which detailed assessment proceedings can be commenced (and a Notice of Commencement served) pursuant to CPR 44.9.

Payment terms:

The Part 36 offer should specify how and when the costs are to be paid. Typically, this involves payment within a certain period (e.g., 14 days) following acceptance.

If the payment terms are not adhered to, the offeree may apply to the court for enforcement of the costs order.

No Need for Trial:

Accepting a Part 36 offer means that the case will not proceed to trial on the issues covered by the offer. This saves time and resources for both parties.

In some cases, particularly where minors or protected parties are involved, the court may need to approve the settlement.

Acceptance of the offer generally leads to an immediate stay of the proceedings. This means that no further steps can be taken in the litigation without the court’s permission.

The stay is typically permanent, marking the end of the legal dispute on the settled issues.

Avoiding Rejection Penalties

In accepting a reasonable Part 36 offer, a party can avoid potential cost penalties that might arise if they proceed to trial and fail to obtain a more favourable outcome.

If a Part 36 Offer is beaten at Trial by a Claimant, the consequences of CPR 36.17 apply and the judgment amount will be enhanced by a further 10%, with costs awarded on an indemnity basis from the date of expiry of the offer, and interest awarded at a penalty rate of 10%.

These costs consequences are fixed, irrespective of whether an offer is beaten by 1p or more.  This is why Part 36 Offer are attractive proposals to settle, and they are distinguishable from other offers to settle, such as Calderbank offers.

Acceptance of a Part 36 Offer therefore ultimately mitigates the risk of the Court awarding the other party enhanced costs and interest rates that are often associated with rejecting a reasonable Part 36 Offer.


Consequences of Rejecting a Part 36 Offer

Rejecting a Part 36 offer can lead to various adverse consequences, particularly if the rejecting party fails to achieve a more favourable outcome at trial.

Costs penalties

  • Adverse Costs Orders: If a party rejects a Part 36 offer and fails to beat the Part 36 Offer, the court may order them to pay the offering party’s costs from the expiry of the relevant period.


  • Indemnity Costs: The court may order the rejecting party to pay costs on an indemnity basis, which is more generous to the receiving party than the standard basis.
  • Higher Interest Rates: The court may award interest on costs at a rate higher than the standard rate, at a rate not exceeding 10% above the base rate, for the period after the relevant period expired.


  • Enhanced Interest on Damages: In addition to costs, the court may order the rejecting party to pay interest on any damages awarded at an enhanced rate, again up to 10% above the base rate.
  • 10% Uplift: A successful party that beats their own Part 36 offer is entitled to a 10% uplift on their costs, further increasing the financial burden on the rejecting party.
  • Potential Liability: Rejecting a reasonable Part 36 offer can lead to significant financial consequences, including liability for both their own costs and a substantial portion of the offering party’s costs.

Practical Implications for Litigants

Part 36 Offers can be a powerful tool in litigation strategy. They can encourage early settlement, reducing the time and costs associated with litigation.

Legal practitioners should carefully advise their clients on the timing and terms of Part 36 offers. Properly drafted offers can provide significant advantages in both settlement negotiations and detailed assessment proceedings.

Part 36 offers, particularly those complying with CPR 36.5, play a crucial role in the litigation process. They not only promote settlement but also provide substantial financial incentives for parties to make and accept reasonable offers. Understanding these rules and their implications can lead to more effective litigation strategies and better outcomes for clients.

How Can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs are expert Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers that regularly assist both receiving and paying parties in resolving costs disputes in the jurisdiction of England and Wales. Whether you find yourself being the receiving or paying party, we can assist with assist with preparation of your Costs Budget or Bill of Costs, conducting negotiations and detailed assessment proceedings, and in narrowing the legal areas in dispute, preparing Points of Dispute or Points of Reply.

For further information or to discuss your query, call one of the team or 01204 397302, or email one our experts at info@arccosts.co.uk. Alternatively, you can contact us via submission of our contact form, and one of the team will give you a call back to provide free initial advice.


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01204 397302


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