Guideline hourly rates

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Guideline hourly rates
  • What are guideline hourly rates?
  • General guidance on summary and detailed assessment
  • Understanding the GHRs
  • Flexibility with the hourly rates
  • Uplift due to the rates being out of date
  • Application of the future GHRs in force from October 2021
  • Factors the courts may consider
  • Illustrative judgments—court applied uplifted GHRs
  • Illustrative judgments—court applied the GHRs
  • More...

Guideline hourly rates

Stop press: the Guideline Hourly Rates are in the process of being updated and new rates and guidance are due to be applied from Friday 1 October 2021, although some judges are already applying them. For guidance, see Practice Note: Tracker—review of guideline hourly rates in civil litigation.

This Practice Note considers the Guideline Hourly Rates (GHRs) for civil and commercial matters. When determining the extent to which a party can recover its costs during summary assessment, the court will consider the solicitors’ charge out rates in conjunction with the GHRs. In practice, the GHRs are also used by the courts to determine the reasonableness of costs during a detailed assessment. This Practice Note provides guidance on understanding the rates. The rates are set out in bands A–D and depend on the location, qualification and experience of the lawyer involved. A number of authorities show the extent to which an element of flexibility is applied by the courts in respect of the GHRs. The costs of preparing solicitor witness statements are also considered. A litigant in person can only recover costs of £19 per hour unless they can prove additional loss.

What are guideline hourly rates?

Solicitors can charge any hourly rate they wish for their services and clients may be prepared to pay them. However, if the client then seeks to recover those costs

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