Withdrawing a Part 36 Offer - Natural Justice prevails

The High Court has ruled that judges who give permission for the withdrawal of Part 36 offers must disclose the arguments and evidence behind their decisions, and a failure to do so breaches the requirements of natural and open justice.  Mr Justice Leggatt handed down his Judgment yesterday in the ‘remarkable’ case of Evans -v- Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2014] EWHC 3185 (QB) which raised the question of "whether a party who requires the court's permission to withdraw a Part 36 offer may be granted such permission on the basis of information and for reasons not disclosed to the party to whom the offer was made."  He ruled firmly in the Claimant’s favour.    

 

The case concerned a clinical negligence claim resulting in a brain injury and left sided hemiparesis as a result of the Defendant’s hospital’s delay in treatment. 

 

The Claimant is represented by Gerwyn Samuel and Caoilfhionn Gallagher of Doughty Street Chambers, instructed by Rosalie Reading of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Birmingham.

 

Rosalie Reading, the Claimant’s solicitor, said:

This truly is a remarkable case.  Part 36 provides a statutory procedure designed to encourage the settlement of disputes.   In the words of Mr Justice Leggatt, there should be “clarity and certainty in its operation”. Thankfully, the principles of natural justice have prevailed and the Court has shown that there is no scope for secrecy when the Defendant is applying to withdraw a Part 36 offer.” 

 

Commentary on the case is available:

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