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Discount Rate Announcement

Tom Rochford

You will no doubt all be aware that the Lord Chancellor has surprised everyone by reducing the discount rate to – .75%.  Her proposal is that the new rate will come in on 20th March.  The first challenge this brings is that there are no official Ogden Tables at this rate.  Rebmark have provided an unofficial set.  I have not checked then in any way.  You will need to use these or something similar for any Schedules.

Here is a link:  https://www.rebmark.co.uk/2017/02/27/discount-rate-announcement/

An alternative is to take mid-point between the -.5% and -1.0% figures, which provides an approximation to -.75%

I suggest you will also need to do the following:

  • Consider whether you have settled any cases recently with provision to revert to court in the event of a change in the discount rate.
  • Consider whether the pleaded values of any claims  / Court fees need to be increased.
  • Consider if any advice to clients,  schedules / counterschedules, or Part 36 or other Offers might need to be reviewed.  There might be URGENT need for Claimants to withdraw Part 36 offers that are too low.  And Defendant might find that Part 36 offers that were previously too high are now looking attractive.
  • Consider whether any advice as to the advantages between PPO / Lump sum might need to be reviewed.
  • Consider if any of the extra work requires costs budget to be reviewed.
  • If you have any case with a multiplier / multiplicand listed in the near future (including listed for JSM etc) , you will need to review matters urgently.
  • If you have anything with a multiplier / multiplicand listed for hearing before 20th March, I would have thought Claimants will want to ask for judgment to be reserved until after 20th and new discount rate used.
  • There is talk about insurers challenging the legality of the new rate.  Any settlement in an individual case could be agreed as conditional upon the new rate coming into force on 20th March.
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