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Sutton Jigsaw Transport Ltd v Croydon London Borough Council, Queen's Bench Division, 27 February 2013

27 February 2013
The issues

Part 36 – whether acceptance valid

The facts

Croydon made a Part 36 offer to the claimant. The offer had not elapsed by the time the 21 day trial window had started. It was not withdrawn. On the first day of the trial there were negotiations. The claimant accepted the offer orally. The local authority refused to accept the oral acceptance. The claimant then sent over a handwritten note purporting to accept the offer. That was done at 1.58pm. At 2pm a fax was sent to the claimant’s solicitors formally withdrawing the offer. The court had to decide whether the offer had been accepted.

The decision

Part 36.9(1) provided that a Part 36 offer was accepted by serving written notice on the offerer. Part 6.22(3) allowed for personal service of documents save where an address for service had been provided. The claimant had not complied with the rule. There had been no valid acceptance of the offer prior to the local authority’s valid withdrawal by fax.

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