In last week’s edition of BC Disease News (here), our feature article concluded the first review of the personal injury discount rate (PIDR) since the Civil Liability Bill received royal assent, in December 2018.
On 15 July 2019, the only solicitor to have ever held the office of Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke MP, announced that the new Ogden rate would be (-)0.25%. This contradicted advice from the Government Actuary, who suggested that an advisable rate would be (+)0.25%.
At the time, it was speculated that the new PIDR, which shocked swathes of the personal injury market, might be the cabinet minister’s final duty as Lord Chancellor, having spoken ominously about his position at a speech delivered last Thursday:
‘It is my hope that in the years ahead - whoever has the privilege of being justice secretary - it is an approach that will be pursued with persistence and determination and courage. And that it will help deliver a safer and more civilised society’.
Yesterday, the former Minister of State for Prisons, Robert Buckland QC MP, was appointed as the new Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State in Boris Johnson’s cabinet, replacing David Gauke MP.[i]
The Minister for Swindon South was called to the Bar in 1991 and took silk in 2014. He has practised in criminal and planning law.
Reacting to the new Prime Minister’s selection, his predecessor tweeted:
‘This is a good appointment. Not a solicitor, merely a barrister, but this will go down well’.
As the 7th Lord Chancellor in 10 years, it would be premature to assume that Mr. Buckland QC MP will be the minister that announces the next PIDR.
In another announcement, earlier this week, the Government Actuary’s Department published updated Ogden Tables, comprising a new column of (-)0.25% multipliers.[ii] Click here to view the updated Tables.
To evaluate quantum in relatively straightforward fatal accident claims under the new (-)0.25% PIDR, try-out our Fatal Damages Calculator, which can be accessed here.
[i] ‘Buckland is lord chancellor and justice secretary’ (25 July 2019 Law Gazette) <https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/buckland-is-lord-chancellor-and-justice-secretary-/5071118.article> accessed 25 July 2019.
[ii] Government Actuary's Department, ‘Ogden tables: actuarial compensation tables for injury and death’ (23 July 2019 GOV.UK) <https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ogden-tables-actuarial-compensation-tables-for-injury-and-death> accessed 25 July 2019.