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You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Jefford v Gee [1970] EWCA Civ 8 (04 March 1970)
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Cite as: [1970] 1 Lloyd's Rep 107, [1970] 2 WLR 702, [1970] EWCA Civ 8, [1970] 1 All ER 1202, [1970] 2 QB 130, [1970] 1 LLR 107

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JISCBAILII_CASE_TORT

Neutral Citation Number: [1970] EWCA Civ 8

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE
COURT OF APPEAL
(CIVIL DIVISION)
Appeal of Defendant from Judgment of Mr Justice Waller on 16th June, 1969.

Royal Courts of Justice,
4th March 1970.

B e f o r e :

THE MASTER OF THE ROLLS (LORD DENNING)
LORD JUSTICE DAVIES
and
LORD JUSTICE SALMON.

____________________

Between:
THOMAS WILLIAM
JEFFORD ROSEMARY JEFFORD (Married Woman)
Respondents (Plaintiffs)
-AND-

PHYLLIS GEE (Married Woman)
Appellant (Defendant)

____________________

(Transcript from the Shorthand Notes of The Association of Official Shorthandwriters Ltd., Room 392, Royal Courts of Justice, and 2, New Square, Lincoln's Inn, London, W.C.2).

____________________

MR JOHN STOCKER, Q.C. and MR MICHAEL TURNER (instructed by Messrs. L. Bingham & Co.) appeared on behalf of the Appellant (Defendant).
MR RAYMOND KIDWELL, Q.C. and MR JOHN HAYMAN (instructed by Messrs.W.H. Thompson) appeared on behalf of the Respondents (Plaintiffs).
MR JOHN MAY, Q.C. and MR JOHN NEWEY (instructed by The Official Solicitor) appeared as Amici Curiae.

____________________

HTML VERSION OF JUDGMENT
____________________

Crown Copyright ©

    THE MASTER OF THE ROLLS: Lord Justice Salmon cannot be here this morning but he has prepared with us the judgment which I am about to read, which is the judgment of the Court.

    On 30th November, 1966, Mr Jefford was riding his motor-scooter along Archway Road in North London. Mrs Gee drove her motor-car so negligently that she ran into him and knocked him off the scooter. His head was badly cut. Three teeth were knocked out. He had a broken wrist. But, worst of all, he had a badly broken right leg. He has had many operations for it but has never recovered the full use of it. He has been off work a long time.

    On 25th July, 1967, the plaintiff issued a writ claiming damages. Liability was admitted. The defendant paid into Court 4,250 in satisfaction of the claim. The plaintiff did not take it out. The trial was held on 16th June, 1969. The Judge awarded a sum of 5,651.lis.6d. It was made up as follows:-

    Special Damages 2,131.11s.6d.
    General Damages 3,500. 0s.0d.

    Mr Kidwell, Counsel for the plaintiff, asked for interest on the whole or part of the sum awarded. The Judge allowed no interest on the Special Damages. But he allowed interest at 6% Per annum on the General Damages of 3,500 for 2 years, that is, from the date of the accident, 30th November, 1966, to the date of trial, 16th June, 1969. The total interest came to 568.15s.0d.

    The defendant appeals from this award of interest. The notice of appeal says that no interest at all should have been awarded on the general damages: or alternatively, it should not have been allowed on so much of it as represented loss of prospective future earnings: and, in any case, the period of 2 years was too long: and the rate of 6% was too high. The notice of appeal also complains that the award of interest took no account of the defendant's payment into Court.

    The plaintiff cross-appeals asking that interest shall be awarded on the whole of the damages, including the special damages as well as the general damages. The plaintiff also asks that the rate should be higher than 6%.

    The appeal and cross-appeal raise the question: On what basis should interest be awarded in personal injury cases? This question is of especial importance: because, since 1st January, 1970, Parliament has made it compulsory for the Judges to award interest in personal injury cases. But, in making it compulsory, Parliament has, quite understandably, left it to the Courts to decide the principles on which they should act. So we have given urgent consideration to it. The question stands out: How is the Statute to be applied? Up and down the country people want to know the answer. Trade unions, insurers, accountants, solicitors, barristers, all want to know. Scores of cases have already come before the Judges. Each has given a different answer. As the Latin saying has it, Quot homines, tot sententiae, which means, put into English:

    "Count the number of men; then the number of different opinions; and you will find there are as many different opinions as there are men".

    Such is the confusion that we feel it our duty to set out the guide lines, even though in some respects our observations may be obiter dicta. In this task we sought the assistance of the Official Solicitor, who instructed Mr John May, Q.C. and Mr Newey, as friends of the Court. Their assistance has been invaluable to us.

    2. THE STATUTES

    The power of the Court to award interest in these cases was contained originally in Section 5 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1954. It said:

    "(1) In any proceedings tried in any Court of record for the recovery of any debt or damages, the Court may, if it thinks fit, order that there shall be included in the sum for which judgment is given, interest at such rate as it thinks fit, on the whole or any part of the debt or damages for the whole or any part of the period between the date when the cause of action arose and the date of the judgment: provided that nothing in this section shall authorise the giving of interest upon interest".

    It should be noticed that the power of the Court was then discretionary. But, since 1st January, 1970, it has become compulsory in personal injury cases. This is by reason of Section 22 of the Administration of Justice Act, 1969, which adds these sub-sections to the above sub-section (l):-

    "(1A) Where in any such proceedings as are mentioned in sub-section (l) of this Section, judgment is given for a sum which (apart from interest on damages) exceeds 200 and represents or includes damages in respect of personal injuries to the plaintiff or any other person, then (without prejudice to the exercise of the power conferred by that sub-section in relation to any part of that sum which does not represent such damages) the Court shall exercise that power so as to include in that sum interest on those damages or on such part of them as the Court considers appropriate, unless the Court is satisfied that there are special reasons why no interest should be given in respect of those damages.
    (IB) Any order under this Section may provide for interest to be calculated at different rates in respect of different parts of the period for which interest is given, whether that period is the whole or part of the period mentioned in sub-section (l) of this Section".

    The present case of Jefford v. Gee was tried on 16th June, 1969- So it is governed solely by the 1934 Act. But our decision today in Jefford v. Gee will, we think, be applicable also to cases which are tried after 1st January 1970. These will be governed, of course, not only by the 1934 Act but also by the 1969 Act. But the 1969 Act does not alter the principles which the Court should apply in awarding interest. All it does is to oblige the Court to apply those principles. It was suggested that the words "such part of them as the Court considers appropriate" indicate some different principles. But we do not think so. They only express the same principles as in the 1934 Act, but in different words. It should be noticed, too, that the 1969 Act is retrospective, in this sense, that it applies to all personal injuries, no matter how many years ago, so long as the case comes for judgment after 1st January 1970. We were told that the insurance companies find this embarrassing because their premiums were calculated in the past without regard to interest. The addition of compulsory interest on past injuries puts everything out.

    3. THE PREVIOUS LAW

    Every Statute has to be considered with reference to the previous law and the state of the earlier authorities. These show that the 1934 Act was intended to give effect to a principle enunciated by Lord Herschell, the Lord Chancellor in 1893. So we will trace it out.

    (i) At Common Law

    The rule of the Common Law of England was that, in the absence of express agreement, interest could not be recovered on a debt or damages: and Equity in this respect followed the law. This situation was regretted by many great Judges. In regretting it, they stated the principle which the Courts ought to apply. Thus in 1826, Chief Justice Best said:-

    ".........However a debt is contracted, if it has been wrongful ly withheId by a defendant after the plaintiff has endeavoured to obtain payment of it, the jury should be able to give interest in the shape of damages for the unjust detention of the money" see Arnott y. Arnott; Redfern (1826) 3 Bingham 353 at page 359.

    In 1893 in London Chatham and Dover Railway v. S.E. Railway Company, (1893 A.C. 429), Lord Herschell, Lord Chancellor, stated the principle, which he thought should be applied, in these words (at page 437):-

    "........I think that when money is owing from one party to another and that other is driven to have recourse to legal proceedings in order to recover the money due to him, the party who is wrongfully, withholding that money from the other ought not in justice to benefit by having the money in his possession and enjoying the use of it, when the money ought to be in the possession of the other party who is entitled to its use. Therefore, if I could see my way to do so, I should certainly be disposed to give the appellants, or any body in a similar position, interest upon the amount withheld from time of action brought at all events".

    (ii) The Acceptance of the Principle

    The principle thus stated by Lord Herschell was set out in its entirety by the Law Revision Committee in its Report which led to the 1934 Act (Command Paper 4546 in 1934). That very distinguished committee accepted the principle, and said:- (in paragraph 8)

    ".................In practically every case a judgment against the defendant means that he should have admitted their claim when it was made and have paid the appropriate sum as damages. There are, of course, some cases when it is reasonable that he should have had a certain time for investigation, and in those cases the Courts might well award interest only from the date when such" reasonable time had expired............,".

    The Committee go on to say (in paragraph 9) that this principle should apply not only to special damages for tort but also to general damages in running down cases or for pain and suffering in personal injury.

    That Committee reported in March, 1934. The Law Reform Act, 1934, was passed on 25th July, 1934. It contained Section 3(1) which gave the Courts power to award interest on debts and damages. The very purpose of that Section was to "effect the reform which the Lord Chancellor, Lord Herschell, thought that . justice required": and to do "what Lord Herschell would fain have done", see Riches v. Westminster Bank (1947 A.C., 402) by Lord Wright; and at page 407 by Lord Simonds. It may, therefore, be regarded as giving statutory effect to Lord Herschell's principle.

    We applied this principle very recently in Harbutt's v. Wayne Tank Company (1970 2 W.L.R. 212), where we all agreed in saying:

    "The basis of an award of interest is that the defendant has kept the plaintiff out of his money: and the defendant has had the use of it himself. So he ought to compensate the plaintiff accordingly".

    It should be noticed that it is not necessary for a plaintiff to claim interest in his pleadings. The Court can award interest without any claim being made in the pleadings, see Riches v.Westminster Bank (l943 2 A.E.R. 725).

    (iii) In Admiralty

    The Court of Admiralty did not apply the Common Law. It followed the Civil Law and gave interest on damages whenever the non-payment was due to the wrongful delay of the defendant. To use the Latin phrase, whenever the non-payment was ex mora the obligor. Ex mora means, of course, "on account of the delay? It is so stated in the Digest, 22.1.32. See also The Northumbria (1869 L.R., 3 Ad. & Ex.) at page 10 by Sir Robert Phillimore. Interest ex mora was awarded when the defendant wrongfully withheld payment.

    In short, Lord Herschell's principle again. So far as the Admiralty Court was concerned, the Statute of 1934 only gave statutory force to that principle which it had long applied: see The Berwickshire, 1950 P. at page 205 by Lord Merriman, President. It is useful, therefore, to see how the Admiralty Court applied it.

    When a profit-earning ship was sunk in a collision, the Admiralty Court awarded interest on the value of the ship, capitalised at the date of loss, from the date of the loss to the date of the trial, see The Kong Magnus, 1891 P. 223, as applied by the House of Lords in The Liesbosch, 1933, A.C. at page 468. When a ship was not sunk, but only damaged, the Admiralty Court awarded interest on the cost of repairs, but only from the time that the repair bill was actually paid, because that was the date from which the plaintiff had been out of pocket, see The Napier Star,, 1933 P. 136, at page 138 by Mr. Justice Langton.

    When there was loss of life in a collision, the Admiralty Court allowed interest only from the date of the Registrar's report. This was done both on the widow's claim under the Fatal Accidents Acts for the pecuniary loss, and also the claim under the Law Reform Act for pain and suffering and loss of expectation of life; see The Aizkarai Mendi, 1938. P. 263. The reason was, no doubt, because the amount was only quantified at the date of the Registrar's report; and so it was only from that date that the defendants could reasonably be expected to pay it.

    (iv) In Scotland

    In Scotland, too, the Courts followed the Civil Law. Interest was awarded ex mora. The principle was that interest was awarded, as of right, whenever a principal sum of money was "wrongfully withheld and not paid on the day when it ought to have been paid": see Carmichael v. Caledonian Railway (1870) 8 MacPherson (H.L.) 119 at page 131 by Lord Westbury. This is Lord Herschell's principle once again. It corresponds, said Lord Normand, to the interest awarded under the 1934 Act, see Riches v. Westminster Bank,(1947 A.C. 412). It is useful, therefore, to see how the Scottish Courts applied it.

    The Scottish Courts drew a distinction between debt and damages. They awarded interest, as of course, on a debt from the date of service of the summons, see London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company v. South Eastern Railway Company (1893 A.C., 443), by Lord Shand; Riches v, Westminster Bank (1947 A.C., 412),by Lord Normand. But the Scottish Courts awarded interest on damages only from the date of the judgment. The reason was because it was only then that the sum was quantified. Quantification will usually fix the earliest date from which interest can reasonably be taken to run, see F.W. Green v. Brown & Gracie Ltd. 1960 Scots Law Times (Notes) at page 44 by Lord Keith of Avonholm; Macrae v. Reed, 1961 S.C. at page 72 by Lord Thomson, the Lord Justice-Clerk. But this was altered by the Interest on Damages (Scotland) Act, 1958. The Courts of Scotland were given power to award interest on damages. But interest could not be awarded from the date of the accident. It could only be awarded, at earliest, from the date on which the action was commenced. Under this Statute the Court of Session held that, in a personal injury case, interest could be awarded on out-of-pockets (which we would call special damages) from the date of service of the summons. But not on loss of future earnings, nor on solatium (which we would call pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life). To these items the Court of Session still applied the test of quantification. These items could only be quantified at the date of judgment, and interest on them only ran from the date of judgment, see Macrae v. Reed, 1961 S.C. 68.

    4.. THE RESULTANT PRINCIPLES TODAY

    Gathering together the best of the reasoning from those various sources we would suggest that these principles should be applied in awarding interest in personal injury cases:-

    Interest should not be awarded as compensation for the damage done. It should only be awarded to a plaintiff for being kept out of money which ought to have been paid to him.

    (i) Special Damages

    Special damages mean the actual pecuniary loss suffered by the plaintiff, up to the date of trial, owing to the wrongful act of the defendant. In principle the plaintiff should be awarded interest on the sum which represents that loss as from the date it was incurred. If he has been recouped that loss from some other quarter, that should be taken into account in awarding interest: for he ought not to be compensated for losing money when he has not suffered the loss (see Harbutt's Plasticine, 1970, 2 W.L.R., 198).

    Mr Jefford's claim for special damages is typical. They were agreed at 2,151.lis.6d., made up as follows:-

    (i) Loss of Wages s d
      Loss of wages from date of accident (30th November, 1966) to date of trial (16th June, 1969)

    2,336 8 0
      Less 50% of sickness benefit (647.4s.0d.) received during that period 323 12 0
        2,012 16 0
    (ii) Medical and incidental expenses 6 0 0
    (iii) Damage to scooter and clothing, etc. 112 15 6
        2,131 11 6

    Mr Jefford was not, however, out of pocket for the whole of that sum: because he received the other 50% of sickness benefit, that is, 323.12s.0d., without having to give any credit for it. His employer also lent him 205 free of interest whilst he was out of work.

    Loss of Wages: This occurred week by week. In principle, the interest should be calculated on each week's loss from that week to the date of trial. But that would mean too much detail. Alternatively, it would be possible to add up the loss every six months and allow interest on the total every six months until trial. That would seem fair, especially as the loss for the initial weeks might be for total incapacity, and afterwards only for partial incapacity when he could do light work. More rough and ready, the total loss could be taken from accident to trial: and interest allowed only on half of it, or for half the time, or at half the rate.

    Medical Expenses: In principle interest should run from the date on which they are paid. But they are not usually so large as to warrant separate calculation.

    Damage to Scooter and Clothing: In principle interest should run from the date when the account is paid for repairs or replacements. But, here again, the amounts are not so large as to warrant separate calculation.

    Overall Result: Taking all these things into account, we think that the special damages should be dealt with on broad lines. The amounts of interest at stake are not large enough to warrant minute attention to detail. Losses, expenditure and receipts should all go into one pool. In all ordinary cases we should have thought it would be fair to award interest on the total sum of special damages from the date of the accident until the date of trial at half the rate allowed on the other damages. In Mr Jefford's case this is interest on 2,131.lis.6d. for 2-g-years at a rate which we will later consider,

    (ii) Loss of Future Earnings

    Where the loss of damage to the plaintiff is future pecuniary loss (e.g. loss of future earnings), there should in principle be no interest. The Judges always give the present value at the date of trial, i.e. the sum which invested at interest, would be sufficient to compensate the plaintiff for his future loss, having regard to all contingencies. There should be no interest awarded on this: because the plaintiff will not have been kept out of any money. On the contrary, he will have received it in advance.

    In Mr Jefford's case the Judge awarded 3,500 general damages, but did not divide it up. It was suggested before us that 1,000 was for future loss of earnings and 2,500 for pain and suffering and loss of amenities. In accordance with the above principle, interest should not be awarded on the 1,000 for future loss of earnings.

    (iii) Pain and Suffering and Loss of Amenities

    When the compensation payable to a plaintiff is not for actual pecuniary loss but for continuing intangible misfortune, such as pain and suffering and loss of amenities (which cannot fairly be measured in terms of money) then he should be awarded interest on the compensation payable. But such interest should not run from the date of the accident: for the simple reason that these misfortunes do not occur at that moment, but are spread indefinitely into the future: and they cannot possibly be quantified at that moment, but must of necessity be quantified later.

    It is not possible to split those misfortunes into two parts; those occurring before the trial and those after it. The Court always awards compensation for them in one lump which is by its nature indivisible. Interest should be awarded on this lump sum as from the time when the defendant ought to have paid it, but did not: for it is only from that time that the plaintiff can be said to have been kept out of the money. This time might in some cases be taken to be the date of letter before action, but at the latest it should bethe date when the writ was served. In the words of Lord Herschell, interest should be awarded "from the time of action brought at all events". From that time onwards it can properly be said that the plaintiff has been out of the whole sum and the defendant has had the benefit of it. Speaking generally, therefore, we think that interest on this item (pain and suffering and loss of amenities) should run from the date of service of the writ to the date of trial. This should stimulate the plaintiff's advisers to issue and serve the writ without delay - which is much to be desired. Delay only too often amounts to a denial of justice.

    In Mr Jefford's case, the figure on this head was 2,500. We think that interest should be awarded on this sum from the date of service of the writ until the date of trial. The writ was issued on 25th July, 1967: but we have not the date of service of it.

    (iv) Fatal Accidents Acts.

    When the Courts award damages to a widow under the Fatal Accidents Acts, they award one lump sum calculated by taking the yearly pecuniary loss and multiplying it by a number of years' purchase. The Courts do not divide it into two parts, such as special damage up to date of trial and future loss after the date of trial. They treat it as damage inflicted once and for all at the time of the accident. The damages are calculated at so many years' purchase, no matter whether the case is tried one month, one year, or three years after the accident. Quite often these claims take some time to investigate, both on the issue of liability and also on damages. A reasonable time should be allowed for such investigation. At the end of that time, if the case is not settled out of Court, the plaintiffs' advisers should issue and serve the writ and the defendants should make payment. From that time onwards it can properly be said that the widow and dependants have been kept out of their money. In these circumstances, we think that interest should be awarded on fatal accidents damages as from the date of service of the writ. So also with the conventional award of 500 under the Law Reform Act. In Admiralty the present practice is to award interest as from the date of the Registrar's Report. This should be awarded from the date of service of the writ,

    (v) Rate of Interest

    It was suggested to us that, in principle, the rate of interest on a debt or damages before judgment should be the same as the rate after judgment. It would be anomalous if a defendant paid less interest after judgment than before it.

    This argument would be acceptable if the rate of interest on a judgment debt were a realistic rate. But it is not so. It is only 4%. It was so enacted in 1838 and has never been changed since. It should be changed. We are told that steps are being taken to increase it. But we do not think we should wait for this to be done. We ought to award a realistic rate, even if It does mean an anomaly.

    To go to the other extreme, it was suggested that Bank Rate should be awarded. That stands at 8%. We cannot agree with this suggestion. Bank Rate fluctuates too much.

    A better guide is, we think, the rate which is payable on money in Court which is placed on short term investment account. This is an investment which is made under the Administration of - Justice Act, 1965 (Sections 6 and 7) and the Supreme Court Funds Rules (Rules 75 to 80). It was started in October, 1965. It is said in the White Book to be "particularly suitable for money which is unlikely to remain invested for a long time and which may have to be withdrawn, in whole or in part, on comparatively short notice". The rate of interest is fixed from time to time by rules made by the Lord Chancellor. The rates so far are as follows:-

    Started from 1st October, 1965 at 5%
    Increased from 1st September, 1966 to 5%
    "" 1st March, 1968 to 6%
    "" 1st March, 1969 to 6%
    "" 1st March, 1970 to 7%.

    The period in Mr Jefford's case is 1967 to 1969. We think over that period we should take a mean or average of the rate obtainable on short term investment account. This would be 6%.

    6. TAX

    When the Court awards interest on debt or damages for two, three or four years, the interest is subject to tax because it is "yearly interest of money": see Riches v. Westminster Bank (1947 AC 390). Furthermore, seeing that all the interest is received in one year, then, although it may cover two, three or four years' interest, nevertheless, the whole of it comes into charge for tax in the one year in which it is received. This may operate very hardly in those cases where this big sum changes the rate of tax: as for instance, a low taxpayer is brought into a higher rate - or a high taxpayer has to pay much of it away in sur-tax. But that cannot be helped. The tax man must collect all he can.

    There are special statutory provisions about deducting tax. For instance, if the person who pays the interest is a company or a local authority, it must deduct tax and make the payment of interest net of tax: see section 26 of the Finance Act, 1969. But, if the person paying is an individual, he must pay the interest as a gross sum, leaving the plaintiff to pay the tax. We do not think the Courts, when awarding interest, should get involved in such questions. Interest should be computed and awarded as a gross sum payable by the defendant, leaving him to work out whether he should deduct tax or not.

    7. PAYMENT INTO COURT

    Seeing that a claim for interest under the 1934 Act need not be pleaded (Riches v. Westminster Bank, 1943 2 A.E.R. 725)9 it is plain that it is not itself a cause of action. It is no part of the debt or damages claimed, but something apart on its own. It is more like the award of costs than anything else. It is an added benefit awarded to the plaintiff when he wins the case.

    Such being the character of interest, we do not think a defendant can, or should, make any payment into Court in respect of it. If it is not claimed by the plaintiff in the pleadings, the defendant cannot be expected to make a payment into Court in resiect of it. Even if it is claimed, it is no part of the cause of action. The defendant is only allowed to make a payment into Court "in satisfaction of the cause of action", see Order 22, rule 1. Interest being no part of the cause of action, he cannot make a payment in respect of it.

    The defendant should, therefore, in future make his payment into Court in the same way as he always has done, namely, an amount which he says is sufficient to satisfy the cause of action apart from interest. If the plaintiff recovers more (apart from interest) he gets his costs. If he recovers no more (apart from interest) he does not get his costs from the date of the payment in and he will have to pay the defendant's costs. The plaintiff will, of course, in either case, get the appropriate award of interest irrespective of the payment into Court.

    If the plaintiff takes the money out of Court in satisfaction of the claim, that is the end of the case. He gets no interest because there is no judgment. The 1934 Act only entitles a plaintiff to interest when he gets a judgment.

    As a matter of practice, however, if the plaintiff is disposed to think that the payment into Court will cover his claim, he will tell the defendant that he is disposed to go to trial in order to collect the interest: but that such a course would be to their mutual disadvantage because the Revenue would extract tax on it: so it would be better for them to split the interest and settle for a sum somewhat higher than the sum in Court.

    We must mention, however, one significant thing about money paid into the High Court. It carries no interest unless the Court orders it to be placed to a deposit account or to a short term investment account under Section 6(1) of the Administration of Justice Act, 1965: see Rule 74(b)(c) of the Supreme Court Funds Rules. Very few people seem to know about these provisions. They do not ask for the money to be placed on a short term investment account. So it carries no interest. The Accountant General no doubt invests it and keeps the interest to help pay for running these Courts.

    We expect that when this becomes widely known, all defendants will ask for the money to be placed on a short term investment account. It will then, as from 1st March, 1970, earn 7% interest which will go to the credit of the defendant and may be used, we suppose, as he may direct; see Rule 80 of the Supreme Court Fund Rules. This will be a loss to the Exchequer but a benefit to the defendants.

    8. SETTLEMENTS.

    It is only compulsory to award interest on judgments. When interest is awarded on a judgment, tax is payable on it. It is very different with settlements. If the parties agree expressly that no interest is included, the Revenue will not be able to go behind it. It is to the advantage of both parties to settle on these terms, rather than benefit the Revenue. There is nothing illegal in it. It is everyday practice to make arrangements with a view to avoiding tax.

    9.. COUNTY COURTS

    Up till now we have only considered proceedings in the High Court. The same principles apply to proceedings in the County Courts when the amount of the judgment is more than 200. There is a little difference about payment into Court. When money is paid into the County Court, there are provisions for investing it and payment of interest on it. At first it may only go on deposit at 2%, but afterwards it may be invested on a short term investment account, on which it earns interest at the same rates as are earned in the Supreme Court.

    10. CONCLUSION

    In order to carry out the 1969 Act, the Court will, in future, have to itemise the damages in most personal injury cases. The Court should in general award interest on the items on the following lines:-

    Special Damages

    Interest should be awarded from the date of the accident to the date of trial at half the appropriate rate.

    Loss of Future Earnings

    No interest should be allowed.

    Pain and Suffering and Loss of Amenities

    Interest should be awarded at the appropriate rate from the date of service of the writ to the date of trial.

    Fatal Accidents Acts

    Interest should be awarded at the appropriate rate from the date of service of the writ to the date of trial.

    Appropriate Rate

    The appropriate rate should be the rate allowed by the Court on the Short Term Investment Account, taken as an average over the period for which interest is awarded. It started in 1965 at 5% and has increased by steps of ^% every year till it stands at 7% from 1st March, 1970. In most cases coming up for decision in this coming year, the average may be taken to be 6%.

    Form of Judgment

    The judgment should state the rate of interest and the period for which it is awarded, and should state it as a gross sum without deducting tax.

    Payment into Court

    Payment into Court should be made as heretofore without regard to interest: and costs awarded accordingly.

    Exceptional Cases

    In exceptional cases, such as when one party or the other has been guilty of gross delay, the Court may depart from the above suggestions by diminishing or increasing the award of interest, or altering the periods for which it is allowed.

    In Mr Jefford's case the appeal and cross appeal should be allowed: and the Order varied so as to allow for interest on the special damages of 2,131.lis.6d. at 3% p.a. from the date of the accident - 30th November, 1966 - to the date of trial, 16th June, 1969: and on 2,500 (being that part of the general damages which relates to pain and suffering and loss of amenities) at 6% p.a. from the date of service of the writ -2nd August, 1967 - to the date of trial, 16th June, 1969.

    Appeal and cross-appeal allowed. Order varied to allow for interest on special damages of ,32,131 lls 6d at 3% p. a. from date of accident, 30th November 1966, to date of trial, 18th June 1969; and on 2,500 (that part of general damages which relates to pain and suffering and loss of amenities) at 6% p.a. from date of service of writ, 2nd August 1967, to date of Trial, 16th June 1969. No order as to costs.


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