Our monthly round-up of developments dominating the legal landscape in Scotland.
The introduction of QOCS appears unlikely before the end of 2019. Progress is being made with the earliest date for full SCJC approval likely to be 9 September. It is understood that, after approval, there will be a three-month period before commencement.
The rules relating to periodical payments will not come into force until the relevant court rules have been drafted and approved. There has been no indication of recent progress and it is likely it will be some time before implementation.
Discount Rate Scotland
The Scottish Government has announced that the Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Act 2019 will come into force on 1 July 2019. The UK Government Actuary's Department will then start work assessing a new Scottish rate and must report to Scottish Ministers with a recommendation by 28 September (i.e. within 90 days of 1 July). The recommendation will then be laid before the Scottish Parliament with the new Discount Rate coming into force the following day. This could be as soon as early October.
The rate currently predicted for Scotland is -0.25%
By comparison, the discount rate review started in England and Wales on 19 March and must end by 5 August.
Our legal alert on the key issues can be viewed here. We will be issuing a further update once the review process gets underway in July.
Scottish Abuse Claims
Scottish Government Redress Scheme
On 25 April the Scottish Government established the Advance Payment Scheme to compensate survivors of childhood abuse in care with a terminal illness of aged 70 or over.
More than 70 survivors of abuse in care have already taken advantage of this scheme and been awarded £10,000 compensation.
The scheme was introduced ahead of a wider compensation payment plan for abuse survivors that is due to open in 2021. Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the payments were to "recognise the harm done to children who were abused while in care". Applicants do not need to provide proof they were abused but are required to submit documentary evidence which shows that they were in care.
Abuse pre-action protocol –The working party met last month and we understand that once they are satisfied with the draft protocol they are looking to circulate this for comments. We hope we can become involved at this stage to present our opinions.
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry – In October, the Inquiry will resume Phase 4 of its investigations into residential childcare establishments run by male religious orders.
News and updates can be viewed here.
If you wish to discuss training for your teams or consider outsourcing abuse work please contact Andrew Lothian who heads up our Scottish abuse team.
25 June - Disrupt to Progress
Counsel Seminar – Prescription - date tbc
Save the date - We are pleased to let you know we will be holding our Scottish Claims Conference again this year on Thursday 12 September 2019. Invitations will be sent out in the next few weeks.
Counsel Seminar – Fundamental dishonesty - in Scotland – date tbc
For further information please contact:
Andrew Lothian, Head of General Insurance (Scotland) on 0131 474 2305
Alison Grant, Partner, Professional Indemnity (Scotland) on 0141 228 8127
Jill Sinclair, Head of Counter Fraud (Scotland) on 0141 228 8196
Caroline Coyle, Senior Associate and Professional Support Lawyer, Insurance on 0141 228 8132
This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.