Introduction by Mr Justice Foskett
Welcome to the survey for the Civil Justice Council (CJC) Costs Committee. This survey is an important step in establishing new Guideline Hourly Rates (GHRs) for use in civil litigation.
They were last updated in 2010 but the evidence upon which those rates were based was outdated. The CJC Costs Committee – assisted by senior academic economist advisers – has a membership drawn from costs experts, hands-on legal practitioners (including experienced litigation solicitors from a variety of professional backgrounds) and the judiciary and is to make evidence-based recommendations to the Master of the Rolls by 31 March 2014.
We need your firm’s help to ensure the evidence base is as comprehensive as possible, reflecting a wide range of factors concerning the costs of legal services up and down the country and at all levels of practitioner seniority.
The Committee already has some data from other surveys, but much more is needed to supplement that data and to provide a cross-check on some features of it.
Can I give two specific reassurances?
• This is an independent, judicially-chaired body. There is no pre-determined agenda or view. The Committee is approaching its task with an entirely open mind.
• We are acutely aware of the need for confidentiality of sensitive information. The data supplied will be held securely by the Judicial Office and no data identifying individual or firm details will be published.
We do have reasons for asking all the questions on the survey. They have been designed to be relatively easy to answer, though some aspects will require a little research. If you are unable to answer any of the questions, or are not sure how to answer, please still answer as best you can and indicate in Question 17 briefly the nature of the difficulty. You may find it helpful to read the answers to the FAQs before completing the survey.
Thank you in advance for your help. It is in everyone’s interests that we base our recommendations on as firm and as accurate an evidence base as possible.
Call for evidence
As part of its role in making evidence-based recommendations to the Master of the Rolls on new guideline hourly rates (‘GHR’) for solicitors’ firms in England and Wales, the Committee is making a call for evidence on the costs of running a litigation practice and invites written submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6pm on Thursday, 12 December 2013.