Master of the Rolls decision and Committee’s report on Guideline Hourly Rates

|Reports and Reviews|Civil

Updated 28 July 2014

Background

The Guideline Hourly Rates form the start point for summary assessment of costs. In April 2013 the Master of the Rolls asked the Civil Justice Council’s Costs Committee to carry out an evidence-based study of solicitors’ current hourly rates and make recommendations to reform the existing rates. The existing rates have been in place since 2010.

On 29th May 2014 the Committee submitted its report to the Master of the Rolls.

Decision

The Master of the Rolls having considered the Report has not been able to accept that the new rates recommended by the Committee should be accepted. He has however accepted the following two recommendations, which will take effect on 1st October 2014:

• to amend the criterion for Grade A fee earners so that it includes Fellows of CILEX with 8 years’ post-qualification experience; and
• that, suitably qualified and regulated, costs lawyers be eligible for payment at GHR Grades C or B, depending on the complexity of the work.

The Guideline Hourly Rates 2010 will, subject to the 1st October 2014 amendment, continue to be applied.

The Master of the Rolls will give urgent consideration, in consultation with the Law Society and the Ministry of Justice, to what further steps need to be taken to obtain the necessary evidence on which to base any revision of the GHR.