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Guideline Hourly Rates

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 has resolved to obtain evidence as to what is allowed by (i) Regional Costs Judges and (ii) SCCO Costs Judges and authorised court officers on detailed assessments (including provisional assessments) which they undertake.

GHRs are an important tool for assessing costs. They are particularly useful as a guide for judges who are inexperienced in that area. What Costs Judges in fact allow across a range of cases will be a highly important contribution to the report which the group has to prepare.

It is also intended to obtain evidence, if it is available, of agreement reached between legal professionals as to hourly rates whether or not there has been an assessment by a judge.

There will be a full consultation on the draft recommendations before the final report is published.

For further information or to find out how to submit evidence, please email

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
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.