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C v D [2011] EWCA Civ 646


What appear to be time limited offers can still constitute Part 36 offers

Part 36 did not expressly exclude time limited offers however to constitute a Part 36 and have effect in terms of its costs consequences after trial, the offer had to be available for acceptance prior to trial. Therefore an offer that lapsed as a matter of its own terms could not have the Part 36 costs consequences and was incompatible with the Part 36 regime. It was reasonable to interpret a letter with the wording “open for 21 days” as meaning that the offer would not be withdrawn within those 21 days however it was also a warning that after the expiry of 21 days, it could be withdrawn at any time. The express time limit was not equivalent of a withdrawal and if the offeror wished to withdraw his offer, he had to serve formal notice of withdrawal.