Guideline Hourly Rates 2021

A working group has been formed by the Master of the Rolls to look at guideline hourly rates (GHR).

The current rates have been in place since 2010. You can read about the CJC’s historical work on GHRs on the judiciary website.

The approach to and evidence for fixing GHRs is a complex matter.

The working group resolved to obtain evidence as to what is allowed by (i) Regional Costs Judges and (ii) SCCO Costs Judges and authorised court officers (iii) Judges in the Business and Property Courts on detailed assessments (including provisional assessments) which they undertake.

Evidence was also sought from legal professionals where agreement was reached between parties as to hourly rates, whether or not there has been an assessment by a judge.

Evidence was gathered between September and December 2020.

The working group prepared a draft report which was open for public consultation between 8 January and 31 March 2021. Read the interim report online (PDF).

The final report (PDF) was published on 30 July 2021.


Chair – Mr Justice Stewart
Deputy Chair – Senior Costs Judge Gordon-Saker
Circuit Judge – Nigel Bird
District Judge – Simon Middleton
District Judge – Judy Gibson
A consumer representative – Elisabeth Davies
A costs barrister – Nicholas Bacon QC
A ‘claimant’ solicitor – David Marshall
A ‘defendant’ solicitor – Peter Causton
A commercial solicitor – Jeff Lewis
A costs lawyer – David Cooper
A Chartered Legal Executive – Lawrence Shaw

Observed by:
A MOJ representative – Robert Wright

The group will also be supported by:
Academic – Prof Paul Fenn
Academic – Prof Neil Rickman

Terms of Reference

To conduct an evidence-based review of the basis and amount of the Guideline Hourly Rates (GHR) and to make recommendations accordingly to the Civil Justice Council and Deputy Head of Civil Justice during Trinity term 2021.