The fact that a claimant’s Part 36 offer was conditional upon the defendant withdrawing its appeal to the Court of Appeal on a preliminary issue did not prevent it from being effective so as to entitle the claimant to enhanced interest and indemnity costs from the date when the offer should have been accepted. US Prime plus 9% was held to equate to base rate plus 10% for the purpose of CPR 36.21.

As for interest in general, Socimer had delayed excessively in bringing its claim as a result of the liquidator’s failure to realise the basis of the claim. The judge allowed the liquidator more than a year to investigate and formulate the claim and deprived Socimer of interest from the end of that period until the date when the proceedings were begun 2 years later.

Comment 

the judgment also dealt with the general discretion to award indemnity costs. The judge rejected such an order. This case was merely “a hard-fought piece of commercial litigation between two sizable commercial entities where both sides deployed tactical and other adversarial weapons available to them”.