Civil Justice Council publishes final report on guideline hourly rates

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The Civil Justice Council’s final report on guideline hourly rates (GHR) has been published today (Friday 30 July 2021).

Between September and November 2020, the working group collected data from the judiciary and the legal profession. The data was analysed by Professor Paul Fenn and Professor Neil Rickman and an Interim Report was published in January 2021. This Interim Report, containing the suggested new rates and several other recommendations, was consulted on between January and March 2021.

Mr Justice Stewart, chair of the GHR working group, said: “The working group, which included the judiciary and representatives of a broad spectrum of legal practice, considered at length the many views put forward during the consultation process. This final report responds in detail to the concerns expressed and sets out why the working group was not sufficiently persuaded to make substantial modifications to any of the recommendations. It is hoped, if the recommendations are accepted, that the new rates will offer greater certainty to litigants, the professions and the judiciary.”

In response to the report, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos, chair of the Civil Justice Council and Head of Civil Justice, said: “I am grateful to Mr Justice Stewart and his entire working group for the production of this comprehensive report.

“I am mindful of the views of those who have taken the time to write to me and raised concerns during the consultation process in respect of likely changes to working practices following the pandemic. I am also aware of those who support the recommendations arguing that the rates need to be addressed after being static for the last 11 years. I will now consider the recommendations in detail and what action ought to be taken.”