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In the mid-1990s practitioners spent a number of years grappling with the issue of the appropriate discount rate to apply to multipliers in clinical negligence and personal injury cases.

Historically, a relatively loose application of the 4.5% rate had been applied by the courts. In July 1998, the House of Lords in Wells v Wells [1999] held that until the Lord Chancellor set a rate under section 1 of the Damages Act 1996, a guideline rate of return of 3% could be expected from the investment of a sum awarded as damages for future pecuniary loss in personal injury actions.

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