Happy half-birthday to the discount rate

Today is six months on from the announcement by then Lord Chancellor David Gauke on 15 July 2019, that the discount rate in England & Wales would be re-set, using new powers in the Civil Liability Act 2018, at -0.25% with effect from 5 August 2019. In the ordinary course of things this rate should apply for five years and should then be reviewed. What has or has not happened in the six months since the Lord Chancellor’s decision?

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Further guidance on jurisdiction and foreign claims? Aspen Underwriting v Credit Europe Bank NV

Today and tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear a case arising from the loss of the ship (The Atlantik Confidence) in 2013 in the Gulf of Aden. The UK-based hull underwriters had paid out under a settlement agreement but then sought recovery of the proceeds from the ship owner’s mortgagee, a bank registered in the Netherlands, arguing that the loss was misrepresented to them and actually resulted from a deliberate act by the owners. The settlement agreement contained an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of English courts.

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e-scooters, urban mobility, law and risk – where next?

I spent 24 hours in Paris at the end of the summer and e-scooters seemed to be everywhere. With parts of the metro suspended for improvements I was tempted to use one – scan the QR code, get the app and go – but decided to leave that to the locals, at least for the time being.

How, if at all, to permit and effectively regulate the use of e-scooters in public spaces turns out to be a very topical question. Just this weekend the French authorities implemented new rules bringing e-scooters into the highway code. These include an age limit of at least 12, prohibition of use on footpaths, speed restrictions and insurance arrangements. The French government’s three page infographic about its new law is available here (in French).

Back in the UK, matters are evolving more slowly. At the beginning of August, the House of Commons Library produced a short paper E-scooters: Why are they not legal on UK roads? which sets out the existing regulatory barriers to their use on UK roads and pavements and hints at a possible government consultation later this year.

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