General

Government delivers discount rate consultation and puts every issue in play

Liz Truss

The government today launched its promised consultation on how the discount rate should be set in the future, and has given just six weeks for responses. Among the questions is whether the rate should be set on the basis that claimants who opt for a lump sum over a periodical payments order should be assumed to be willing to take some risk.

March 30th, 2017

Katie Hopkins “too late” to ask trial judge for permission to appeal libel ruling

Mr Justice Warby

A High Court judge has refused newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins permission to appeal against his high-profile ruling that she had to pay £24,000 in damages over two libellous tweets, saying she applied too late. He indicated that he would not have granted permission anyway.

March 29th, 2017

Bar Council issues warning over plan for extended court sittings

BAR Council

Forthcoming plans for courts to start earlier and finish later will disadvantage barristers with children and do not take account of the cab-rank rule, the Bar Council has warned. The barristers’ body was making a pre-emptive strike on HM Courts and Tribunals Service proposals, expected next week

March 24th, 2017

Girl’s damages increase hugely in first settlement under new discount rate

Leonie Millard

The High Court has settled what is claimed to be the first case following yesterday’s change to the discount rate, awarding a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsey an increase of over £5.5m on her capitalised settlement, which had been calculated before the new rate at nearly £3.8m.

March 21st, 2017

Defence union accuses Truss of legal error in setting new discount rate

Chris Kenny (Sep 13)2

Leading counsel has suggested that Lord Chancellor Liz Truss erred legally in both the process and substance of her decision to change the discount rate, a leading medical defence union revealed last week as it hinted it may yet challenge her over the move.

March 20th, 2017

Lord Chief Justice urges City firms to allow partners to join bench

Lord Thomas_crop

The Lord Chief Justice has issued a plea to large law firms to allow their partners to seek judicial appointment, saying it was in the interests of both the nation and the firms themselves to do so. He told City firms that he appreciated “how difficult it is for partners within a firm to release the most able of their number”.

March 17th, 2017

Lord Chief Justice unveils ‘Business and Property Courts of England and Wales’

Rolls Building

The specialist civil courts are to be known as the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales from this June as part of the push to maintain the jurisdiction’s international reputation post-Brexit. The move, which has the “strong support” of Lord Chancellor Liz Truss, will also enable “more flexible cross-deployment of judges”.

March 13th, 2017

Government promises insurers urgent action over discount rate

Philip Hammond

The government will “progress urgently” with a consultation on changing the way the discount rate is set, according to a statement issued yesterday by Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Association of British Insurers director-general Huw Evans.

March 2nd, 2017

Adherence to Wells ruling meant discount rate cut was only option, says Truss

Carson Kaye, Solicitors, London

The “faithful application” of the principles set down by the House of Lords in Wells v Wells was the reason Lord Chancellor Liz Truss rejected calls to take a ‘mixed portfolio’ approach to setting the discount rate, in a move one leading observer suggested showed “nimble political footwork”.

February 28th, 2017

Warby to head new media and communications list

Mr Justice Warby

Mr Justice Warby has been put in charge of a new media and communications list, it was announced yesterday. He is to consult with litigators and judges on how to improve arrangements for such cases.

February 28th, 2017

Blog

Proportionality – not just a matter for detailed assessment

Stack of documents and papers

Proportionality is one of the major issues that we find we are dealing with at the end of a matter, particularly in the small-to-medium-value claims. Why was it introduced? It was considered that the then existing system was not working and that a system needed to be put in place which would “promote access to justice at proportionate cost”. In 2009, Court of Appeal judge Sir Anthony May said: “Assessments which have to concentrate retrospectively on what the winning party has spent will always risk producing a disproportionate result.”

March 29th, 2017

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John M Hayes

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