You can agree to settle your case with the defendant at any time before the hearing. But if you reach an agreement with the defendant to settle your claim, you cannot then change your mind and ask the court to hear the complaint.
If you discuss the possibility of settlement with a defendant on a ‘without prejudice’ basis, neither you nor the defendant can tell the court about these discussions if you do not reach an agreement.
If you are made a ‘Part 36 offer’ you should take advice first. If you refuse a Part 36 offer, then even if you go on to win your claim but do not win as much as was available under the Part 36 offer, you may end up paying the defendant’s costs at the trial.
What happens if you settle a claim but the defendant does not pay?
If the defendant does not pay you in accordance with the settlement agreement, you can bring a claim in the county court for payment of the sum agreed, based on that contract.