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Warriner v Warriner, Court of Appeal, 24 January 2002

29 January 2002
The issues

Discount rate – whether the Court of Appeal should allow a lower rate than 2.5%.

The facts

The Claimant at CMC was given permission to rely upon forensic accountancy evidence in relation to the appropriate discount rate to be used when assessing the future loss multiplier in a personal injury action. The report from the Claimant’s Forensic Accountant argued that a multiplier based on a 2.5% discount rate was unfair to all Claimants on the life-time loss cases. The report attacked the methodology used by the Lord Chancellor in setting the rate at 2.5% arguing that a more appropriate rate was lower than that rate and should be used on the basis that the Claimant had an unusually long life expectancy (46 years). The Defendant appealed from the Case Management Decision.

The decision

1. The Case Management Decision should only be over-turned by an appellate Court if the Judge was plainly wrong.

2. The whole purpose of the Lord Chancellor’s decision had been to eliminate the need to call expert evidence in respect of the appropriate discount rate.

3. There was nothing unusual about this case, either in terms of the expectation of life or the value of the claim. (In Warren the life expectancy was 1 year longer and the value of the claim at £3,000,000 was rather higher than this claim).

The Lord Chancellor had explained fully why 2.5% was the appropriate rate. No further explanation was required. This fell clearly within the range of cases foreseen by the Lord Chancellor.

Appeal allowed.



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