After over ten years without any change, new Guideline Hourly Rates have finally been approved by the Master of the Rolls, to come into effect from 1 October 2021. These represent a ‘modest’ increase in the hourly rates that clients can hope to recover when a costs award is made against the other side in civil litigation.
Under the new Guideline Hourly Rates, central London firms carrying out heavy commercial or corporate work are singled out for the top rates. However, there is room for significantly increased rates to be recovered where, for example, the matter is particularly complex or urgent, or there is an international element.
The previous guideline rates had been widely criticised for being out of touch with the reality in the legal industry. It is to be hoped that these changes will result in increased costs awards for clients which much better reflect standard charging practices in London and beyond. It is also to be hoped, however, that courts will recognise that the increases are only modest and will continue to be willing to award higher rates where appropriate.
Find the link to announcement here.
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