Nationally harmonised interest rates - changes to Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005

25/06/2010

Practitioners should note the changes to the UCPR under Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (Amendment No 32) 2010 and Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (Amendment No 34) 2010 commence on **1 July 2010. **These amendments provide for the adoption in NSW of nationally harmonised provisions for the awarding of post-judgment interest under s 101 of the _Civil Procedure Act 2005 _(CPA) as well as changes to the calculation of claims for pre-judgment interest under s 100 CPA.

Post-judgment interest

Schedule 5 to the UCPR sets out the applicable default rates for post-judgment interest.� It will be repealed with effect as and from 1 July 2010.� Schedule 5 rates will be replaced with a new nationally harmonised formula for the calculation of interest based on the Reserve Bank of Australia's cash rate.� This is set out in UCPR 36.7 (1) and is as follows:

The prescribed rate at which interest is payable under section 101 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 is:

(a)�� �in respect of the period from 1 January to 30 June in any year—the rate that is 6% above the cash rate last published by the Reserve Bank of Australia before that period commenced, and

(b)�� �in respect of the period from 1 July to 31 December in any year—the rate that is 6% above the cash rate last published by the Reserve Bank of Australia before that period commenced.

The change to post-judgment interest does not have retrospective effect - section 30 _Interpretation Act 1987 _(NSW).� Interest for post-judgment periods up to and including 30 June 2010 should be calculated with reference to the rates in Schedule 5.� Practitioners are reminded that they may access historic versions of the UCPR via the NSW Government's legislation web site to review Schedule 5 rates.

Pre-judgment interest

The court may award pre-judgment interest under s 100 CPA.

NSW courts will issue practice notes with respect to the adoption of a nationally harmonised formula based on the Reserve Bank of Australia's cash rate for pre-judgment interest claimed under s 100 (1) and s 100 (2) CPA as follows:

(a)� in respect of the period from 1 January to 30 June in any year – the rate that is 4% above the cash rate last published by the Reserve Bank of Australia before that period commenced, and (b)� in respect of the period from 1 July to 31 December in any year – the rate that is 4% above the cash rate last published by the Reserve Bank of Australia before that period commenced.

The Supreme Court issued its Practice Note (SC Gen 16) on 16 June.

Practitioners should note UCPR 6.12 (8), as amended. This provides for claims for pre-judgment interest where a contractual or statutory rate of interest does not apply. The effect of the change is that in liquidated statements of claim filed after I July where no other rate applies, the interest calculation for the entire pre-judgment period should be based on the new harmonised formula for pre-judgment interest.

**25 June 2010 **


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