The Court of Appeal made the decision to increase general damages by 10% when reconsidering its decision given in Simmons v Castle  EWCA Civ 1039. The Court held that as from April 2013 that “the proper level of general damages in all civil claims for (i) pain and suffering, (ii) loss of amenity (iii) physical inconvenience and discomfort (iv) social discredit (v) mental distress or (vi) loss of society of relatives, will be 10% higher than previously, unless the Claimant falls within s. 44 (6) of the 2012 Act” The 10% increase in general damages will therefore not be applicable to Claimants who enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) before 1 April 2013.
The increase was intended to give effect to a number of reforms recommended by Sir Rupert Jackson in his Final Report on Civil Litigation Costs, one of the major proposals of which, as was reflected within the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 s. 44 and s.46, was that a successful Claimant suing with the benefit of a CFA should no longer be able to recover the success fee from the Defendant. The increase was recommended to assist such claims with meeting success fees which they would have to pay out of damages. Although those Claimants that were not on CFAs would benefit from the level of general damages, the report recognised that the level of damages awarded would continue not to be high.