3 June 2014Print This Post

The wait for new guideline hourly rates goes on

Foskett: large and complex task

The wait for the outcome of the review into guideline hourly rates (GHR) goes on, but the committee that has spent a year investigating them has finally submitted its report, it was announced yesterday.

The Civil Justice Council’s costs committee was tasked with reviewing the GHR in April 2013, and was meant to have reported to the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, by 31 March 2014 (having originally said a January 2014 deadline was too tight).

The GHR have not been updated since 2010. The committee warned at the start of its work that lawyers should not automatically assume the rates will go up.

Committee chairman Mr Justice Foskett said: “The committee has completed its initial task of producing recommendations for new guideline hourly rates and has submitted its report to the Master of the Rolls.

“We have submitted this a little later than we had anticipated, a reflection of the scale and complexity of the task and the need to reach agreement as far as possible on some very difficult issues.

“The report will not be published until the Master of the Rolls has had an opportunity to consider it fully and to decide whether or not to accept the committee’s recommendations. We envisage that Lord Dyson will, in due course, publish our report alongside his final decisions on what the rates should be, and the date from which they will take effect.”

Lord Dyson said: “I am very grateful to David Foskett and all of his committee members and expert advisers for the immense effort they have all put, on an entirely voluntary basis, into this important exercise.

“I am acutely conscious that the decision on setting rates may have far-reaching effects on the legal services market, and I will consider the committee’s very comprehensive report with great care. I will complete this process as soon as possible, and I will announce a date on which my decision will be published as soon as I am able to.”

By Neil Rose

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