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A helpful summary from the Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2013 on the consequences of Part 36 offers in detailed assessment proceedings:
“Either party may, at any time, make a formal settlement offer in accordance with Part 36. If the paying party makes such an offer and it is accepted by the receiving party within the specified period for acceptance, the receiving party will also receive its costs of assessment to the date of acceptance.
If the receiving party does not accept and the bill is assessed at no more than the paying party’s Part 36 offer, the normal rule will be that the receiving party must meet the paying party’s costs of assessment, with interest, from the end of the specified period for acceptance. If the receiving party accepts the offer after the period for acceptance expires, the receiving party will normally have to pay the paying party’s costs from that point.
If the receiving party makes a Part 36 offer, the paying party does not accept and the bill is assessed at as much as or more than that offer, the paying party will normally have to pay, from the end of the specified period for acceptance, interest at up to 10% above base rate on the bill as assessed, the costs of assessment on the indemnity basis and interest on those costs, again at up to 10% above base rate. It shall also normally have to pay an extra 10% of the bill as assessed (reduced to 5% for any amount over £500,000 and capped at £75,000).”