Insurers will go to the High Court next week seeking to overturn July’s landmark decision on increased damages.
The Association of British Insurers has challenged the Court of Appeal’s ruling confirming a 10% uplift on all general damages from 1 April 2013.
The ABI says it backs the increase in principle, but argues that applying it to all cases where judgment is given after 1 April is unfair when those cases have also benefited from current funding arrangements. A hearing will take place in the morning of 25 September.
An ABI spokesman said: ‘We’re concerned that the impact of this judgment is to upset the balanced package of proposals set out in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act. The 10% uplift was one element of the Jackson reforms but they also had to be balanced with a reduction in legal costs.’
The 10% uplift will apply to general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in personal injury, nuisance, defamation and all other torts which cause suffering, inconvenience or distress to individuals.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has made a submission calling for the original ruling to be upheld.
A spokeswoman said: ‘Clearly there is not going to be one single day on which every aspect of the reforms is introduced and the court has used its remit of providing guidance on general damages to provide a simple, workable solution which avoids any risk of satellite litigation.’
Don Clarke, president of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers and partner at Keoghs, has called for clarity so that claimant and compensators can prepare themselves on issues such as pricing. Blogging on the Keoghs website, he said: ‘The government is still committed to implementing personal injury reform in April 2013.
‘This is now only seven months away and we still await some considerable detail from the Ministry of Justice on various aspects of the Jackson reforms.
‘Whether it be part 36 [offers], qualified one-way costs-shifting or the scope and level of fixed costs, there is a long way to go before the reforms truly crystallise and compensators can understand what this new world is to look like.’