From 1 October 2014 there will be two important changes to the Practice Direction to Part 21 of the CPR which will affect the preparation and conduct of settlement approval hearings.
In cases where the approval is sought of a settlement or compromise by or on behalf of a child or protected party before proceedings have been issued, a claimant child or protected party in a personal injury case arising from an accident is now obliged to file with the claim for the approval of a settlement, “medical and quantum reports and joint statements material to the opinion [of counsel or a solicitor as to quantum, except in very clear cases] required by paragraph 5.2”. This change ensures that the medical evidence filed is that which is pertinent to the Opinion on quantum.
In cases where the approval is sought of a settlement or compromise by or on behalf of a child or protected party after proceedings have been issued, the prescribed opinion as to quantum of counsel or a solicitor must now crucially also include “documentary evidence material to the [said] opinion” (per new Para 6.4(3)). This change has the potential to affect the Court’s ability to approve the settlement or compromise of a claim reached unexpectedly at trial for example – i.e. in circumstances where the same was not anticipated. Should therefore such agreement be reached, it may be that it is unlikely a court would approve the same unless all medical reports, schedules of loss, and potentially lay evidence as to the child’s or protected party’s medical condition was available to be placed before the court.
Full details of all upcoming changes can be found at: