Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005
Current version for 9 April 2020 to date (accessed 4 June 2020 at 06:05)
Part 20 Division 4
Division 4 Compromise
20.25   Definitions
(cf SCR Part 22, rule 3)
In this Division—
judgment in favour of the defendant includes a dismissal of a summons or a statement of claim.
offer means an offer of compromise referred to in rule 20.26.
period of acceptance for an offer means the period of time during which the offer is open for acceptance.
20.26   Making of offer
(cf SCR Part 22, rules 1A, 2, 3 and 4; DCR Part 19A, rules 1, 2, 2A, 3 and 4; LCR Part 17A, rules 2 and 5)
(1)  In any proceedings, any party may, by notice in writing, make an offer to any other party to compromise any claim in the proceedings, either in whole or in part, on specified terms.
(2)  An offer under this rule—
(a)  must identify—
(i)  the claim or part of the claim to which it relates, and
(ii)  the proposed orders for disposal of the claim or part of the claim, including, if a monetary judgment is proposed, the amount of that monetary judgment, and
(b)  if the offer relates only to part of a claim in the proceedings, must include a statement—
(i)  in the case of an offer by the plaintiff, as to whether the balance of the proceedings is to be abandoned or pursued, or
(ii)  in the case of an offer by a defendant, as to whether the balance of the proceedings will be defended or conceded, and
(c)  must not include an amount for costs and must not be expressed to be inclusive of costs, and
(d)  must bear a statement to the effect that the offer is made in accordance with these rules, and
(e)  if the offeror has made or been ordered to make an interim payment to the offeree, must state whether or not the offer is in addition to that interim payment, and
(f)  must specify the period of time within which the offer is open for acceptance.
(3)  An offer under this rule may propose—
(a)  a judgment in favour of the defendant—
(i)  with no order as to costs, or
(ii)  despite subrule (2)(c), with a term of the offer that the defendant will pay to the plaintiff a specified sum in respect of the plaintiff’s costs, or
(b)  that the costs as agreed or assessed up to the time the offer was made will be paid by the offeror, or
(c)  that the costs as agreed or assessed on the ordinary basis or on the indemnity basis will be met out of a specified estate, notional estate or fund identified in the offer.
(4)  If the offeror makes an offer before the offeree has been given such particulars of the offeror’s claim, and copies or originals of such documents available to the offeror, as are necessary to enable the offeree to fully consider the offer, the offeree may, within 14 days of receiving the offer, give notice to the offeror that—
(a)  the offeree is unable to assess the reasonableness of the offer because of the lack of particulars or documents, and
(b)  in the event that rule 42.14 applies to the proceedings, the offeree will seek an order of the court under rule 42.14(2).
(5)  The closing date for acceptance of an offer—
(a)  in the case of an offer made two months or more before the date set down for commencement of the trial—is to be no less than 28 days after the date on which the offer is made, and
(b)  in any other case—is to be such date as is reasonable in the circumstances.
(6), (7)    (Repealed)
(8)  Unless the notice of offer otherwise provides, an offer providing for the payment of money, or the doing of any other act, is taken to provide for the payment of that money, or the doing of that act, within 28 days after acceptance of the offer.
(9)  An offer is taken to have been made without prejudice, unless the notice of offer otherwise provides.
(10)  A party may make more than one offer in relation to the same claim.
(11)  Unless the court orders otherwise, an offer may not be withdrawn during the period of acceptance for the offer.
(12)  A notice of offer that purports to exclude, modify or restrict the operation of rule 42.14 or 42.15 is of no effect for the purposes of this Division.
20.27   Acceptance of offer
(cf SCR Part 22, rule 3; DCR Part 19A, rule 3; LCR Part 17A, rule 5)
(1)  A party may accept an offer by serving written notice of acceptance on the offeror at any time during the period of acceptance for the offer.
(2)  An offer may be accepted even if a further offer is made during the period of acceptance for the first offer.
(3)  If an offer is accepted in accordance with this rule, any party to the compromise may apply for judgment to be entered accordingly.
20.28   Withdrawal of acceptance
(cf SCR Part 22, rule 5; DCR Part 19A, rule 5; LCR Part 17A, rule 7)
(1)  A party who accepts an offer may withdraw the acceptance in any of the following circumstances by serving written notice of withdrawal on the offeror—
(a)  if the offer provides for payment of money, or the doing of any other act, and the sum is not paid to the offeree or into court, or the act is not done, within 28 days after acceptance of the offer or within such other time as the offer provides, or
(b)  if the court grants the party leave to withdraw the acceptance.
(2)  If acceptance of an offer is withdrawn—
(a)  except as provided by paragraph (b), all steps in the proceedings that have been taken as a consequence of the offer having been accepted cease to have effect, and
(b)  the court may give directions—
(i)  to restore the parties as nearly as may be to their positions at the time of the acceptance, and
(ii)  to give effect to any steps in the proceedings that have been taken as a consequence of the offer having been accepted, and
(iii)  to provide for the further conduct of the proceedings,
and may do so either after the offer is withdrawn or when granting leave to withdraw the offer.
20.29   Failure to comply with accepted offer
(cf SCR Part 22, rule 8; DCR Part 19A, rule 8; LCR Part 17A, rule 10)
(1)  If the plaintiff, being a party to an accepted offer, fails to comply with the terms of the offer, the defendant is entitled—
(a)  to such judgment or order as is appropriate to give effect to the terms of the accepted offer, or
(b)  to an order that the proceedings be dismissed, and to judgment accordingly,
as the defendant elects, unless the court orders otherwise.
(2)  If the defendant, being a party to an accepted offer, fails to comply with the terms of the offer, the plaintiff is entitled—
(a)  to such judgment or order as is appropriate to give effect to the terms of the accepted offer, or
(b)  to an order that the defence be struck out, and to judgment accordingly,
as the plaintiff elects, unless the court orders otherwise.
(3)  If a party to an accepted offer fails to comply with the terms of the offer, and a defendant in the proceedings has made a statement of cross-claim or cross-summons that is not the subject of the accepted offer, the court—
(a)  may make such order or give such judgment under this rule, and
(b)  may make such order as to the further conduct of proceedings on the statement of cross-claim or cross-summons,
as it thinks fit.
20.30   Disclosure of offer to court or arbitrator
(cf SCR Part 22, rule 7; DCR Part 19A, rule 7; LCR Part 17A, rule 9)
(1)  No statement of the fact that an offer has been made may be contained in any pleading or affidavit.
(2)  If an offer is not accepted, no communication with respect to the offer may be made to the court at the trial or, as the case may require, to the arbitrator.
(3)  Despite subrule (2), an offer may be disclosed to the court or, as the case may require, to the arbitrator—
(a)  if a notice of offer provides that the offer is not made without prejudice, or
(b)  to the extent necessary to enable the offer to be taken into account for the purpose of determining an amount of interest up to judgment, or
(c)  after all questions of liability and relief have been determined, to the extent necessary to determine questions as to costs, or
(d)  to the extent necessary to enable the offer to be taken into account for the purposes of section 73(4) of the Motor Accidents Act 1988, section 137(4) of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 or section 151M of the Workers Compensation Act 1987.
20.31   Compromises in certain Supreme Court proceedings
(cf SCR Part 8, rule 14)
(1)  This rule applies to proceedings in the Supreme Court concerning—
(a)  the administration of a deceased person’s estate, or
(b)  property the subject of a trust, or
(c)  the construction of an Act, instrument or other document,
involving any matter in which one or more persons have the same interest or liability.
(2)  The court may approve a compromise—
(a)  that one party has assented to, or
(b)  that the court has sanctioned on behalf of one party,
being in either case a compromise that affects other persons (not being parties) having the same interest or liability, but only if the court is satisfied that the compromise will be to the benefit of those other persons.
(3)  A compromise referred to in subrule (2) binds the absent persons unless the court’s approval of the compromise has been obtained by fraud or non-disclosure of material facts.
20.32   Offer to contribute
(cf SCR Part 22, rule 12; DCR Part 19A, rule 11; LCR Part 17A, rule 13)
(1)  If in any proceedings—
(a)  one party (the first party) stands to be held liable to another party (the second party) to contribute towards any debt or damages which may be recovered against the second party in the proceedings, and
(b)  the first party, at any time after entering an appearance, makes an offer to the second party to contribute to a specified extent to the debt or damages, and
(c)  the offer is made without prejudice to the first party’s defence,
the offer must not be brought to the attention of the court or any arbitrator until all questions of liability or amount of debt or damages have been decided.
(2)  In subrule (1), debt or damages includes any interest up to judgment claimed on any debt or damages.