Costs News

11 January 2021
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Response from the Association of Costs Lawyers to the revision of Guideline Hourly Rates

Responding to the consultation on revising the guideline hourly rates published by the Civil Justice Council working group, Association of Costs Lawyers chair Claire Green says:

 “It is unarguable that the GHRs need to be increased after a decade-long freeze. Deciding on new rates is no easy task. The working group describes its proposed increases as ‘modest’ and if nothing else that will hopefully aid their approval should they be the final figures recommended to the Master of the Rolls.

 “The report also makes some welcome tweaks to the regime, most notably by recategorising London 1 and London 2 bands to reflect the type of work done rather than a firm’s postcode, and ensuring that every part of the country outside the capital is specifically allocated to a band.

 “The working group notes that, back in 2015, the then Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, accepted the recommendation that suitably qualified Costs Lawyers should be eligible for grades B and C. Implementation of this, and recognition of the value of our work, is now long overdue.

 “The group clearly sees its work as an interim measure ahead of a fundamental review of the GHR 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. But in the meantime it is important that Costs Lawyers and solicitors have their say on the working group’s report.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Kerry Jack, Black Letter Communications

Tel: 020 3567 1208, kerry.jack@blacklettercommunications.co.uk

Notes to editors:

Association of Costs Lawyers

The Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL) is a membership body representing and promoting the status and interests of Cost Lawyers in England and Wales. Founded in 1977, the Association was granted authorised body status in 2007 and is a front-line regulator, able to authorise its members to undertake the reserved legal activities of litigation and advocacy. In recognition of this new-found status, ACL changed its name from the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen in 2011. Costs Lawyers are regulated by the Costs Lawyer Standards Board. www.costslawyer.co.uk

The term ‘costs draftsman’ denotes an unregulated and unqualified person operating in costs and those who instruct costs draftsmen have no recourse to either the Legal Ombudsman or the Costs Lawyer Standards Board.

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