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The Advisory Committee on Civil Costs has released updated Guideline Hourly Rates to apply from 1st January 2009. It has been made clear that these are very much interim in nature and that further investigations will be conducted to determine whether the overall levels are appropriate. In particular, this will consider the 20-35% difference in rates charged by claimant’s solicitors compared with defendants’ solicitors and the extent to which the Guideline Hourly Rates allow for referral fees to be paid by claimants’ solicitors.
Other than a general increase to reflect earnings inflation, the main change to the Guideline Rates is to increase Band Three rates to Band Two levels.