Many cases are still being run under CCFAs which define “basic charges” along the following or similar lines:
“charges for work done by or on behalf of Smith and Jones Solicitors, calculated on the basis of the hourly rates allowable for the work in the court in which the claim in question is conducted or would be conducted if proceedings were to be issued”
I take “allowable” to refer to the Guideline Hourly Rates for the relevant court. “Allowable” cannot refer to whatever hourly rates it might be possible to persuade a judge to allow at the conclusion of the case. This would create all kinds of indemnity principle problems. Neither can it mean the rates that another judge in that court once allowed in a vaguely similar case in the past. That does not make the rate “allowable” but simply “once allowed in the case of X”.
If that is correct, it means there is no discretion to seek rates in excess of Guideline Rates.
Secondly, what happens if the claim was one of those issued out of Northampton (CCMCC) County Court and settled prior to transfer to a specific court? Although it was a purely administrative matter that Northampton County Court was the named court, was it not being “conducted” in that court if issued or “would be conducted” in that court if not yet issued? If so, the rates under a similarly worded CCFA would be limited to National 2 rates.