Wednesday, 6 November 2013

When is a win not a win? Sometimes until you instruct us!

M was a child who had instructed (via his Mother) a solicitor in respect of a tripping accident.  The Claimant had fallen as a result of a pothole in the road.  Liability had been admitted by the local Council who also put forward what is known as a Part 36 offer to M at £1,250.00.

The matter proceeded to trial and M was awarded £1,205 only.  As this was beneath the offer previously put forward by the Council, M was ordered to pay all of the costs incurred by the Council from 21 days after the date of the Part 36 offer.   He was subsequently left with a bill for the costs of Liverpool City Council in excess of £3,000 even though he had “Won” his trial.

M instructed us via his Mother to pursue her original solicitor for professional negligence on the basis that they had failed to explain to M and his Mother the effects of a “Part 36 offer” and the consequences of failing to beat such an offer.   M and his Mother argued that if the consequences had been explained to them ie that they may be responsible for all the costs from the date of the offer onwards, then they would have accepted the offer and not taken that risk.

The Solicitors refused to accept liability when the claim was presented to them and proceedings were issued.  Eventually the claim was settled on the basis that the Solicitors would pay to the local Council the full costs order of £3,321.85 for which the Council had been pursuing M and his Mother. 

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