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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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”.
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”.
High Court overturns costs judge ruling that holiday claimants should have used ABTA mediation scheme
Claimants who litigate instead of using an available ADR scheme are not automatically acting unreasonably, the High Court has ruled. It overturned a costs judge’s decision that holiday claimants should have used the Association of British Travel Agents’ mediation scheme rather than litigate.
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.
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”.
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.”