March 14, 2017

Part 36 Offers - Marathon Asset Management v Seddon (High Court)

Court considers interest to be awarded after defendant bettered its Part 36 offer

The claimant in this case failed to better the defendant's Part 36 offer at trial. Under Part 36, the defendant is entitled to its costs from the date on which the relevant period expired and interest on those costs. Leggatt J rejected an argument that the defendant was entitled to an enhanced rate of interest and held that, in the absence of evidence supporting a different rate, the appropriate measure of a commercial rate of interest in current conditions was 2% above the Bank of England base rate. He also felt that the power to award interest under Part 36 was now "effectively otiose" because courts routinely use their general powers under CPR r44.2(6)(g) to order interest to be paid on costs "from or until a certain date, including a date before judgment", usually from the date on which those costs were incurred (ie payment to the winning party's solicitors).