Responding to the final report of the Civil Justice Council working group on guideline hourly rates, Association of Costs Lawyers chair Claire Green says:
“It is unarguable that the GHRs need to be increased after an 11-year freeze. Deciding on new rates is no easy task and the working group has erred on the side of caution in its recommendations. But this will hopefully encourage the Master of the Rolls to approve them as soon as possible.
“We are particularly pleased to see the final report stressing that qualified Costs Lawyers are eligible for payment at grades B or C depending on the complexity of the work done – rather than allowing no higher than grade D – along with the recognition that it may in the future be appropriate to align Costs Lawyers with solicitors and legal executives across all grades.
“Though there were good reasons for the group only having limited evidence to work on, it is clear that a more thorough examination will be needed in the context of the profession’s changing working practices. To some extent, the GHRs do reflect a time when legal life was very different to today’s technology enabled practice.”