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Oonagh McClure represents APIL at Assembly committee

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for Justice continued to consider the draft legislation which will change the way the discount rate in serious personal injury cases is calculated.

Managing partner of Thompsons NI and Executive Committee member of the Association of Personal injury Lawyers (APIL), Oonagh McClure, attended the session on behalf of APIL to express the Association’s concerns about a move away from the Wells v Wells principle of assuming an injured person to be risk adverse or a very low risk investor. The draft Bill contains a notional portfolio upon which the discount rate will be based.

Addressing the committee, Oonagh said: “Injured people are not canny investors and they are not out to make a gain. They invest only to make their compensation last as long as it should.”

The current rate of -1/75 per cent was set by the Department of Justice on the 31 May this year following a judicial review of its decision not to set a new rate when the previous rate of 2.5 per cent was, by its own admission, out of date and under compensating victims of injury. The Committee has heard evidence from insurers and personal injury solicitors and are considering the legislation.

You can read more about Oonagh’s appearance in next month’s issue of PI Focus.