The long awaited (and long delayed) guidance on hourly rates has been published.
The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary commentary and guidance can be found here.
The Committee’s letter to the Master of the Rolls is here
The response of the Master of the Rolls is here
The Report is here
MOST OF THE COMMITTEE’S PROPOSALS NOT ACCEPTED
The Master of the Rolls did not accept many of the Committee’s proposals.
Hourly rates remain unchanged
The Master of the Rolls did not accept that the evidence was sufficient to justify a change in hourly rates.
No “grade E” for paralegals
The Master of the Rolls also did not accept the recommendation that there be a new Grade E band for paralegals.
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
FILEX with 8 years qualifications now Grade A
The Master of the Rolls accepted that Filex with 8 years qualifications should be Grade A.
Qualified cost lawyers now Grade B or C
Also cost lawyers “suitably qualified and subject to regulation” can be considered Grade B or C, depending on the complexity of the work.
MORE RESEARCH NEEDED
The Master of the Rolls’ response indicates the need for much more detailed research in this area. The Committee had produced sterling work, of high quality, but the evidential basis of the recommendations was not secure. Urgent steps were needed to secure “sound and reliable” evidence.