Costs consequences of acceptance of a claimant's part 36 offer
The High Court in Haynes v Department for Business Innovation and Skills has allowed an appeal against a decision on the eighth defendant's liability for costs following its acceptance of the claimant's offer under part 36 of the CPR.
The defendant successfully argued at first instance that liability for costs was several, rather than joint and several, and as such it was held that the eighth defendant was liable for the costs specifically relating to the claim against it and a divisible proportion of the common costs of the proceedings.
The claimant successfully appealed the decision in relation to the common costs. The court confirmed that where a part 36 offer is accepted by one of multiple defendants that defendant's individual liability for costs will likely only extend to the costs of the proceedings against it. However, if the Claimant is able to provide evidence of non-specific common costs incurred in the proceedings these may also be recoverable at a rate up to 100% from the individual defendant.
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