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At the Association of Costs Lawyers national conference Master Hurst explained that although an increase in the Guideline Hourly Rates had been planned, this was due to be linked to the average earnings index but unfortunately that index no longer exists and an alternative index was being sought.
It has now been announced:
“The Master of the Rolls has received a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Civil Costs on an increase to the Guideline Hourly Rates for 2011. The rates form the starting point for judges carrying out summary assessments of costs in certain cases, on reasonable hourly rates for solicitors and legal executives of varying levels of experience.
The Committee has recommended an earnings related increase for 2011, but the Master of the Rolls has asked the Committee to seek additional information and provide further evidence to allow him to make a more considered decision.
In the meantime, and until further notice, the Guideline Hourly Rates for 2010 will continue to be applied.”
This is all well and good but we are now going to have a start date for the new rates other than January or April, unless it is suggested they should apply retrospectively. Just one more thing to try and remember when reviewing Bills of Costs.