APIL delight over awards index link

PERSONAL injury lawyers are delighted at the Government's decision to follow Law Commission advice on making damages awards inflation-proof and encouraging structured settlements.

The Lord Chancellor says he will introduce legislation implementing all the recommendations in the commission's paper on structured settlements and interim and provisional damages “when a suitable opportunity arises”.

The paper, issued in September last year, recommended the use of actuarial tables and money market information to calculate damages along with a statutory scheme to rationalise and simplify the procedures for making structured settlements.

Association of Personal Injury Lawyers president Michael Napier says the Lord Chancellor's decision represents a major step forward in the drive to rationalise the law of damages.

“It's wonderful news the Lord Chancellor has chosen to act on the recommendations so quickly and we must now look forward to early legislation to implement them.”

In its report the commission said the current requirements for structured settlements were so convoluted a structured settlement might not be attractive to insurers.

Announcing the recommendations, Law Commissioner Jack Beatson said structured settlements benefited both parties as well as giving plaintiffs certainty and security.