Ten years on finally a consultation on new hourly rates for costs
Solicitors will be well aware that guideline hourly rates upon which the Courts assess legal costs have been stuck for the last 10 years. This has been a period when the financial burden on legal practices has been anything but static .
It was a welcome relief therefore when a Consultative group was formed to look at the issue . As the Judiciary point out :
The approach to and evidence for fixing GHRs is a complex matter.
The working group resolved to obtain evidence as to what is allowed by (i) Regional Costs Judges and (ii) SCCO Costs Judges and authorised court officers (iii) Judges in the Business and Property Courts on detailed assessments (including provisional assessments) which they undertake.
Evidence was also sought from legal professionals where agreement was reached between parties as to hourly rates, whether or not there has been an assessment by a judge.
Evidence was gathered between September and December 2020.
But that first review has now tkane place and as a result a consultation has now been issued on some modest increases to the rates .
It is important for anyone who has in interest in ensuring these rates are correctly set takes the opportunity to respond to the consultation .
You can read the report here : https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/20210108-GHR-Report-for-consultation-FINAL.pdf
And respond to the consultation here : https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=KEeHxuZx_kGp4S6MNndq2D9fyoof86xDjqmUjF03eRNUOTJXTDNPUElZUFJVM0NIR0NEOFY3WFRaQS4u
The deadline is the 31st March