Time is running out for law firms to submit their responses for a Costs Survey, which will inform recommendations on new guideline hourly rates (GHR) for fee earners.
The deadline for responses to the survey – https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about-the-judiciary/advisory-bodies/cjc/GuidelineHourlyRatesSurvey2013.htm – is Friday 29th November, 2013.
Mr Justice Foskett, Chairman of the Costs Committee of the Civil Justice Council (CJC) said:
“I urge practices and practitioners to take the time to complete the survey. All firms around the country have a direct stake in this issue – the GHR are widely used as a reference point for the recoverability of fees charged for litigation work and as they have not been updated since 2010 it is important that we build an accurate and comprehensive evidence base on which to make our recommendations.
We need to hear from claimant and defendant firms in personal injury work, from large practices to sole practitioner practices, from practices engaged in commercial litigation of whatever size, and from inner city locations to rural areas across the whole country. Only by taking part will we be able to ensure that our recommendations reflect your firm’s position and we want to build as complete a picture of the market as we can. It is not our role to favour any one sector or region over another, but we do need responses from all areas of litigation practice throughout the country to ensure that a properly balanced set of recommendations can be made.”
Mr Justice Foskett stressed that all responses will be treated in the strictest confidence and that data identifying individual firms or practitioners will not be published nor will be shared with others.
The Committee will meet in mid-December to consider the results and to consider an expert analysis of all the date available.
The Committee has also issued a call for written evidence – https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/JCO%2fDocuments%2fCJC%2fcall-for-evidence.pdf, and
the deadline for submissions is Friday 6th December 2013. The Committee expects to hold a small number of oral evidence sessions in early 2014.
The Committee’s report, making recommendations to the Master of the Rolls on GHR for 2014 is planned for completion at the end of March 2014. It then falls to the Master of the Rolls to take the decision on setting rates for 2014. This will then become an annual exercise.
Notes to Editors
1.The online survey can be accessed here –https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about-the-judiciary/advisory-bodies/cjc/law-firm-survey/index. A word version and an excel spreadsheet are also available so that responses can be worked on, and saved as respondents work through it.
2. The membership of the Committee can be found here – https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about-the-judiciary/advisory-bodies/cjc/working-parties/costs-committee.htm#headingAnchor3
3 .The CJC Costs Committee assumed responsibility for advising the Master of the Rolls from the now disbanded Advisory Committee on Civil Costs earlier this year, and met for the first time in April 2013.
4.The current Guideline Hourly Rates, set in 2010 can be found here – https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications-and-reports/guidance/index/guideline-hourly-rates-2010.
5.The rates have not been updated since 2010 as successive Masters of the Rolls have not considered the evidence base for the recommendations made to be of sufficiently strength to vary the rates.