Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Statutory interpretation; control; Occupiers Liability Act 1957

Can a householder’s ‘control’ under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 somehow equate to control under the Construction/Work at Height Regulations, such that an ordinary householder would be liable under those regulations for an injury suffered by a workman on his premises? As Smith LJ said when granting permission to appeal in this case:

Andrew Sands and Nicholas Martin examine the issues relating to the discount rate and conclude that a reduction in the rate should be inevitable

It is common knowledge that the Lord Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, has announced a review of the current 2.5% discount rate. The review has mainly been brought about through pressure from APIL, which has threatened Judicial Review. The aim of this article is to explain what the discount rate is and to highlight the important reasons for its urgent need for review. There have been attacks ( Warriner v Warriner [2002] and Cooke v United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust [2003]) on the discount rate, but the courts have consistently held that any change can only be made by the Lord Chancellor, pursuant to s1 of the Damages Act 1996.

In the first of a regular feature, Bill Braithwaite QC provides tactical advice on all the ‘hot topics’

Experts are the flavour of the month. I recently came across a decision in one of my cases in 2005, where the High Court judge said:

Simon Gibbs considers the dramatic consequences of implementing the Jackson Proposals

Readers, by now, will be familiar with the government’s plans for implementation of Lord Justice Jackson’s civil litigation costs review and the further consultation on reform of the county court system. But, if and when these radical changes happen, what will the impact be for those who work in this area, and particularly for personal injury claims? What does this mean for claimant and defendant lawyers and for those who work in the legal costs profession?

Paul Jones reviews a recent case that emphasises the discretion judges have when dealing with costs

One of the central planks of the Ministry Of Justice’s proposed reform of personal injury costs is a widening of the ambit of fixed costs, along the lines of the scheme currently in operation for Road Traffic Accidents (RTA). Whatever one’s views of the rights and wrongs of such an intention, the recent conjoined appeals in Smith v Wyatt; Rennie v Logistic Management [2011] highlights some of the pitfalls and problems with which any such scheme will have to deal.

James Wibberley urges that care be taken when drafting offers

On 16 November 2010, Mr Justice Warren handed down judgment in the case of C v D & D2 [2010], and in doing so signalled the beginning of a far stricter approach to the requirements of Part 36 under which the court will give precedence to the contents of an offer over its form.

Dr David Bickerton examines the effect of psychiatric injury

Trauma to the body can be objectively defined, measured and assessed whereas damage to the psyche, while very common and well recognised, cannot be so easily quantified or indeed understood. Despite its common prevalence, this area has not, until recently, been an area of great concern for psychiatrists (it being first officially recognised by the American Psychiatric Association only in 1980 and then only after significant pressure from Vietnam veterans and the National Council of Churches). However, there is now an established and expanding understanding of the psychological effects of trauma to the mind and, as further proof of its credibility, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) produced guidance in 2005. I will discuss the assessment and classification of trauma to the human mind and highlight some possible areas of interest to civil claims lawyers before briefly describing treatment options and prognosis.

Deborah Burke looks at an unusual case in light of the Civil Procedure Rules

Rule 38.6 of the Civil Procedure Rules provides that a discontinuing party will be liable for the costs of the opponent unless the court orders otherwise. Griffin & anor v Smith & ors [2010] looks at the factors that the court will take into account when deciding whether it should order ‘otherwise’.