• PART 18 PART 18 — Offers To Settle

    • 149. Scope

      (1) A party may make an offer to settle in whatever way that party chooses, but if the offer is not made in accordance with Rule 154, it will not have the consequences specified in this Part.
      (2) In this Part —
      (a) "Part 18 offer" means an offer made pursuant to the procedure set out in this Part;
      (b) a "trial" means any trial in a case whether it is a trial of all issues or a trial of liability, quantum, or some other issue in the case;
      (c) a trial is "in progress" from the time when it starts until the time when judgment is given or handed down;
      (d) a case is "decided" when all issues in the case have been determined, whether at one or more trials;
      (e) "trial Judge" includes any Judge allocated in advance to conduct a trial; and
      (f) "the relevant period" means —
      (i) in the case of an offer made not less than 21 days before a trial, the period specified under Rule 154(2) or such longer period as the parties agree; or
      (ii) otherwise, the period up to the end of such trial.

    • 150. Application of Part 18 to appeals

      (1) Except where a Part 18 offer is made in appeal proceedings, it shall have the consequences set out in this Part only in relation to the costs of the proceedings in respect of which it is made, and not in relation to the costs of any appeal from a decision in those proceedings.
      (2) Where a Part 18 offer is made in appeal proceedings, references in this Part to a term in the first column below shall be treated, unless the context requires otherwise, as references to the corresponding term in the second column —

      Term Corresponding term
      Claim Appeal
      Counterclaim Cross-appeal
      Case Appeal proceedings
      Claimant Appellant
      Defendant Respondent
      Trial Appeal hearing
      Trial Judge Appeal Judge

    • 151. Restriction on disclosure of a Part 18 offer

      (1) A Part 18 offer will be treated as "without prejudice save as to costs".
      (2) The fact that a Part 18 offer has been made and the terms of such offer must not be communicated to the trial Judge until the case has been decided.
      (3) Paragraph (2) of this Rule does not apply —
      (a) where the defence of tender before claim has been raised;
      (b) where the proceedings have been stayed following the acceptance of a Part 18 offer;
      (c) where the offeror and offeree agree in writing that it should not apply; or
      (d) where, although the case has not been decided in full, any part of, or issue in, the case has been decided and the offer related only to the parts or issues that have been decided.
      (4) In a case to which paragraph (3)(d) applies, the trial Judge may be told whether or not there are Part 18 offers other than those referring to the parts or issues that have been decided, but must not be told the terms of any such offers unless any of paragraphs (3)(a) to (c) applies.
      (5) Paragraph (2) is without prejudice to Rule 78, and where a party requests a stay under that rule that party may inform the Court or the trial Judge, as the case may be, whether or not there is a Part 18 offer; but the parties must not inform the Court or the trial Judge, as the case may be, of the terms of any such offer or which party or parties made the offer and to whom the offer was made.

    • 152. Who may make a Part 18 offer and in respect of what may it be made

      (1) A Part 18 offer may be made by a claimant or a defendant in respect of the whole, or part of, or any issue that arises in a claim, counterclaim or other additional claim or an appeal or cross-appeal from a decision made at a trial.
      (2) The offer may be made at any time, including before the commencement of proceedings.
      (3) It is made when it is served on the offeree.

    • 153. Defendant's offer

      (1) Subject to Rules 164 and 165, a Part 18 offer by a defendant to pay a sum of money in settlement of a claim must be an offer to pay a single sum of money.
      (2) A defendant's offer that includes an offer to pay all or part of the sum at a date later than 14 days following the date of acceptance will not be treated as a Part 18 offer unless the offeree accepts the offer.

    • 154. Form and content of a Part 18 offer

      (1) A Part 18 offer must be in accordance with the prescribed form.
      (2) The offer must make clear that it is made pursuant to Part 18, must specify a period of not less than 21 days within which the defendant will be liable for the claimant's costs in accordance with paragraphs (1) to (4) of Rule 161 if the offer is to be accepted; 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 state whether it takes into account any counterclaim.
      (3) Paragraph (2) of this Rule does not apply if the offer is made less than 21 days before the start of a trial.
      (4) A Part 18 offer which offers to pay or to accept a sum of money will be treated as inclusive of all interest until the date on which the period specified under paragraph (2) expires or, if paragraph (3) applies, a date 21 days after the date the offer was made.

    • 155. Clarification of a Part 18 offer

      (1) The offeree may, within 7 days of a Part 18 offer being made, request the offeror to clarify the offer.
      (2) If the offeror does not give the clarification requested under paragraph (1) within 7 days of receiving the request, the offeree may, unless the trial has started, apply for an order that the offeror do so.
      (3) If the Court makes an order under paragraph (2), it must specify the date when the Part 18 offer is to be treated as having been made.
      Amended on June 1, 2017

    • 156. Withdrawing or changing the terms of a Part 18 offer

      (1) A Part 18 offer can only be withdrawn, or its terms changed, if the offeree has not previously served notice of acceptance.
      (2) The offeror withdraws the offer or changes its terms by serving written notice of the withdrawal or change of terms on the offeree, and, subject to Rule 157, such notice takes effect when it is served on the offeree.
      (3) Subject to paragraph (1), after the expiry of the relevant period the offeror may withdraw the offer or change its terms without the Court's permission or the offer may automatically be withdrawn in accordance with its terms.

    • 157. Withdrawal or change of terms of a Part 18 offer before the expiry of the relevant period

      (1) Subject to paragraph (1) of Rule 156, this Rule applies where the offeror serves notice before the expiry of the relevant period of withdrawal of the offer or change of its terms to be less advantageous to the offeree.
      (2) Where this Rule applies —
      (a) if the offeree has not served notice of acceptance of the original offer by the expiry of the relevant period, the offeror's notice has effect on the expiry of that period; and
      (b) if the offeree serves notice of acceptance of the original offer before the expiry of the relevant period, that acceptance has effect unless the offeror applies to the Court for permission to withdraw the offer or to change its terms within 7 days of the offeree's notice of acceptance, or if earlier, before the first day of trial.
      (3) On an application under paragraph (2)(b), the Court may give permission for the original offer to be withdrawn or its terms changed if satisfied that there has been a change of circumstances since the making of the original offer and that it is in the interests of justice to give permission.
      Amended on June 1, 2017

    • 158. Acceptance of a Part 18 offer

      (1) A Part 18 offer is accepted by serving written notice of acceptance on the offeror.
      (2) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), a Part 18 offer may be accepted at any time (whether or not the offeree has subsequently made a different offer), unless it has already been withdrawn.
      (3) The Court's permission is required to accept a Part 18 offer where an apportionment is required under Rule 154(2) or a trial is in progress.
      (4) Where the Court gives permission under paragraph (3), unless all the parties have agreed costs, the Court must make an order dealing with costs, and may order that the costs consequences set out in Rule 161 apply.

    • 159. Acceptance of Part 18 offer in a split trial case

      (1) In any case where there has been a trial but the case has not been decided, any Part 18 offer which relates only to parts of the claim or issues that have already been decided can no longer be accepted.
      (2) Subject to paragraph (1) and unless the parties agree, any other Part 18 offer cannot be accepted earlier than 7 clear days after judgment is given or handed down in such trial.

    • 160. Acceptance of Part 18 offer made by one or more, but not all, defendants

      (1) Paragraphs (2) and (3) apply where the claimant wishes to accept a Part 18 offer made by one or more, but not all, of a number of defendants.
      (2) A claimant may accept the offer in circumstances described in any relevant practice direction.
      (3) In all other cases, the claimant may only accept the offer with the Court's permission.

    • 161. Consequences of accepting a Part 18 offer

      (1) The general rule is that, subject to paragraph (3), where a Part 18 offer is accepted within the relevant period, the claimant will be entitled to the costs of the proceedings up to the date on which notice of acceptance was served on the offeror.
      (2) The claimant's costs of the proceedings include the claimant's recoverable pre-action costs and any costs incurred in dealing with the defendant's counterclaim if the Part 18 offer states that it takes it into account.
      (3) Where a defendant's Part 18 offer relates to part only of the claim and at the time of serving notice of acceptance within the relevant period the claimant abandons the balance of the claim, the claimant will only be entitled to the costs of such parts of the claim unless the Court orders otherwise.
      (4) Except where the recoverable costs are fixed by these Rules, costs under paragraphs (1) and (3) of this Rule are to be assessed on the standard basis if the amount of costs is not agreed.

    • 162. Other effects of accepting a Part 18 offer

      (1) If a Part 18 offer is accepted, the claim will be stayed and, in the case of acceptance of an offer which relates to the whole claim, the stay will be upon the terms of the offer.
      (2) In the case of acceptance of a Part 18 offer which relates to part only of the claim, the claim will be stayed as to that part upon the terms of the offer.
      (3) If the Court's approval is required before a settlement can be binding, any stay which would otherwise arise on the acceptance of a Part 18 offer will take effect only when that approval has been given.
      (4) Unless the parties otherwise agree in writing, where a Part 18 offer that is or includes an offer to pay or to accept a single sum of money is accepted, that sum must be paid to the claimant within 14 days of the date of acceptance, unless the Court orders otherwise.
      (5) If such sum is not paid within 14 days of acceptance of the offer, or such other period has been agreed, the claimant may enter judgment for the unpaid sum.

    • 163. Unaccepted Part 18 Offers

      (1) This rule applies where, upon judgment being entered —
      (a) a claimant fails to obtain a judgment more advantageous than a defendant's Part 18 offer; or
      (b) judgment against the defendant is at least as advantageous to the claimant as the proposals contained in the claimant's Part 18 offer.
      (2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), in relation to any money claim or money element of a claim —
      (a) "more advantageous" means better in money terms by any amount, however small; and
      (b) "at least as advantageous" shall be construed accordingly.
      (3) Subject to paragraph (4), where paragraph (1)(a) applies, the Court must, unless it considers it unjust to do so, order that the defendant is entitled to costs (including any recoverable pre-action costs) from the date on which the relevant period expired and interest on those costs.
      (4) Subject to paragraph (5), where paragraph (1)(b) applies, the Court must, unless it considers it unjust to do so, order that the claimant is entitled to —
      (a) interest on the whole or part of any sum of money (excluding interest) awarded, at such rate as the Court thinks fit for some or all of the period starting with the date on which the relevant period expired;
      (b) together with costs (including any recoverable pre-action costs) on the indemnity basis from the date on which the relevant period expired; and
      (c) interest on those costs at such rate as the Court thinks fit.
      (5) Paragraphs (3) and (4) do not apply to a Part 18 offer which has been withdrawn, which has been changed so that its terms are less advantageous to the offeree where the offeree has beaten the less advantageous offer, or which was made less than 21 days before trial unless the Court has abridged the relevant period.
      Amended on June 1, 2017

    • 164. Personal injury claims for future pecuniary loss

      (1) This rule applies to a claim for damages for personal injury which is or includes a claim for future pecuniary loss.
      (2) An offer to settle such a claim will not have the consequences set out in this Part unless it is made by way of a Part 18 offer under this rule.
      (3) A Part 18 offer to which this rule applies may contain an offer to pay, or an offer to accept the whole or part of the damages for future pecuniary loss in form of a lump sum, a periodical payment or both a lump sum and periodical payments or the whole or part of any other damages in the form of a lump sum.
      (4) In addition to the information required by Rule 154, a Part 18 offer made under this Rule must contain such further information as required by, and set out in, any relevant practice direction.
      (5) Rule 152 applies to the extent that a Part 18 offer made by a defendant under this rule includes an offer to pay all or part of any damages in the form of a lump sum.
      (6) Where the offeror makes a Part 18 offer to which this rule applies and which offers to pay or to accept damages in the form of a lump sum and periodical payments, the offeree may only give notice of acceptance of the offer as a whole.
      Amended on June 1, 2017

    • 165. Offer to settle a claim for provisional damages

      (1) An offeror may make a Part 18 offer in respect of a claim which includes a claim for provisional damages.
      (2) Where the offeror does so, in addition to the information required by Rule 154, the offer must specify whether or not the offeror is proposing that the settlement shall include an award of provisional damages and must contain such further information as required by, and set out in, any relevant practice direction.
      (3) Rules 152(2) and (3) apply to the extent that a Part 18 offer made by a defendant includes an offer to agree to the making of an award of provisional damages.
      Amended on June 1, 2017

    • 166. Payments into Court

      (1) A party who makes a payment into Court under a Court order must serve notice of the payment on every other party and, in relation to each such notice, file a certificate of service.
      (2) A practice direction may set out special provisions with regard to payments into Court under any ADGM enactment.

    • 167. Where defendant wishes to rely on a defence of tender before claim

      (1) A defendant who wishes to rely on a defence of tender before claim must make a payment into Court of the amount he says was tendered and may not rely on that defence until he makes the payment.
      (2) The defence of tender before claim is not available where the claim is for unliquidated damages.

    • 168. Payment out of Court

      Money paid into Court under a Court order or in support of a defence of tender before claim may not be paid out without the Court's permission except in accordance with a relevant practice direction.