Comment on Swift v Carpenter

October 9, 2020

Daniel Frieze provides a comment on the costs of accommodation and the solution from the Court of Appeal.


Today’s judgment is significant as the injustice of Roberts v Johnstone has been acknowledged by the Court of Appeal. In the present economic climate, and noting the increased sophistication in the field of personal litigation in recent years, the Court has produced a solution which brings to the fore the need for ‘fair and reasonable compensation which seeks not to overcompensate a claimant’.

The Court of Appeal has navigated a difficult course, but acknowledges the need for certainty on the part of both claimants and insurers, where much of this type of litigation has been subject to settlement. The market valuation of the reversionary interest seems one of a number of solutions open to the Court.

Insurers have been the greatest benefactors from uncertainty in recent years, and they may now consider the pendulum has swung too far the other way. It is likely they will be revisiting their reserves and considering their next steps. It will be interesting to see whether an appeal is now taken to the Supreme Court by the Defendant.

The judgment is available here.