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Court of Appeal revises judgement in Simmons damages appeal case

11 October 2012

The Court of Appeal has issued its revised decision in Simmons v Castle. The earlier judgement would have resulted in a 10% increase in general damages in all tort cases decided after 1 April 2013.

This judgement reflects a success for insurers and other defendants as it means that Claimants who entered into CFAs before 1 April 2013 (who benefit from the current funding regime) will now not benefit from this uplift. This will more evenly balance the benefits and detriments of reform on a case by case basis, avoiding windfalls in most cases.

It is not a perfect outcome, and it is likely there will be some satellite litigation. The court considered the possibility of such litigation where a claimant has changed solicitor or has died and new solicitors are instructed. Dispute s may also arise where there has been an irregularity in the CFA, which may render it unenforceable, or a failure to give proper notice of funding.

However, the judgement will prevent an emerging procedural bottleneck in which some claimants put off settlement until April 2013 in order to increase damages.

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