The new personal injury discount rate - judicial review anybody?

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In our latest briefing paper on the new personal injury discount rate, we take a critical look at the Lord Chancellor’s decision making process and whether it departs from ordinary principles of compensation.

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Political and Market Advisory

After a turbulent 6 months complete with a snap election and a new minority Government coming into power, the Government announced the agenda for the coming parliamentary session. Whilst the legislative programme focused heavily on Brexit, there were a number of announcements which potentially stand to directly benefit compensators.

1.  Civil Liability Bill

The bill resurrects measures, including a ban on pre-medical offers and the introduction of a new tariff for whiplash claims of up to two years duration, to reform the personal injury claims process with a view to tackling the spiralling cost of whiplash claims. It is not yet clear whether the bill will be used as the legislative vehicle to bring about changes to how the discount rate is calculated and set, although the outcome of the recent consultation on the discount rate is still awaited.

Civil Liability Bill Update - Discount Rate & Whiplash Reforms

Civil Liability Bill Update - Whiplash Injury Regulations

2.  The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill

The bill amends the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) and bring regulatory oversight of Claims Management Companies within the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority.

3.  The Courts Bill

The bill will put an end to direct cross examination of domestic violence victims by their attackers and allow the use of virtual hearings. It will introduce digital services to allow businesses to pursue debt cases more expeditiously and allow fixed penalty matters to be dealt with more efficiently.  It is also expected to introduce measures necessary to bring the Briggs on-line court into existence.

4.  The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill

This bill will introduce an extension of compulsory motor insurance to cover the use of vehicles driving in autonomous mode and allow the Government to install electric and hydrogen charging points, creating a network across the UK.

5.  The Data Protection Bill

This bill implements and builds on the EU General Data Protection Regulation so that the UK will remain compliant whilst still a member of the EU and presumably beyond.

It is of course early days and the full contents of the bills are awaited. We will be keeping a watching brief and will report back as soon as there are any further developments. In the meantime, should you wish to discuss this in more detail, or would like assistance with any other matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

6. The Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill

This bill by virtue of its codification and amendment of the common law, provides clarification on the rights of third parties arising from contracts. It should also assist Scottish law in becoming more commercially attractive as parties will no longer need to seek an alternative jurisdiction to determine their contractual disputes where third party rights are in issue.

7. The Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Bill

This bill aims to increase access to justice in civil actions by making costs more predictable, increasing the variety of funding and introducing a ‘greater level of equality’ to the costs positon of pursuers and defenders in personal injury claims.

Damages (Investment Returns & Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Bill

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