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Guideline rates survey - have your say

Posted: in by Michelle Barron.

HHJ Hodge QC, the circuit judge member of the Civil Justice Council costs committee conducting the review has said,

“Practitioners have a chance to inform the process,” he told delegates, “but only by submitting their views, supported by evidence.” There will also be oral sessions with selected professional bodies, organisations and firms in February 2014.

The committee is looking to supplement and test the data gathered so far by seeking information from practitioners on salaries, fee income, hours claimed and overheads for each grade of fee-earner in each geographical band, as well as the spread of income between different areas of work. The rates were last increased in 2010, leading to the current commission for an evidence-based review and recommendations to the Master of the Rolls by 31 March 2014 to assist in setting new rates. Judge Hodge said the current rates are effectively based on 2007 data, with an associated need to review the current costs of running a law firm. As evidence emerges, the impact of the Jackson reforms and alternative business structures will have to be considered too, he added. Other issues include whether there should be distinct rates set for significant areas of litigation – such as commercial, personal injury and clinical negligence – and rethinking the geographical bands. The survey can be accessed here.

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