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When the norm is unjust

In light of Briggs v CEF Holdings Ltd, Louise Shaw considers when it is unjust to make the usual part 36 order for costs in the event of a late acceptance

22 August 2017

In Briggs v CEF Holdings Ltd (2017) I represented the defendant through its insurers. This was an ordinary employer’s liability claim, which followed the typical, almost tedious, well-trodden path that personal injury practitioners know so well. Right up until it ended up in the Court of Appeal.

The claimant suffered a crushing injury, particularly to his second right toe, in an accident at work in January 2010. I am in no position to comment upon the claimant’s perspective of his claim, but I felt early on that there was a faint whiff of exaggeration about it.

In an effort to conclude the claim promptly, we made a part 36 offer of £50,000 on 18 September 2012. There were complications and uncertainties in connection with the claimant’s treatment and recovery and, by agreement, the case was stayed between May 2013 and Ap...

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