Responding to recommendations of the Civil Justice Council Costs Review and new Guideline Hourly Rates

Master of the RollsCivil Justice CouncilNews

The Master of the Rolls has accepted the recommendations of the Civil Justice Council Costs Review.

The Civil Justice Council’s final report on the civil costs regime, ‘Costs Review’ was published in May 2023.

The Review stemmed from a request from the Master of the Rolls in 2022 for the Civil Justice Council to take a strategic and holistic look at costs, particularly given the ongoing transformation of civil justice into a digital justice system.

In a speech at the Civil Justice Council’s 12th National Forum, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos, chair of the Civil Justice Council and Head of Civil Justice, said:

‘I want to thank the Deputy Head of Civil Justice, Lord Justice Birss, and his working group on what is a ground-breaking report. I am announcing today that I endorse all the recommendations and will be proceeding immediately to the implementation phase.

As is recommended, the 2021 Guideline Hourly Rates will be uplifted for inflation from 1 January 2024 in accordance with the Services Producer Price Index. I will establish, as the report suggests, a further working group to examine the methodology underpinning Guideline Hourly Rates.

As regards costs budgeting, I accept – “one size does not necessarily fit all”. I am today asking the Civil Procedure Rules Committee to take forward the suggestions contained in the Costs review to pilot what the Costs review suggests.’

New Guideline Hourly Rates are listed below with previous rates in brackets*. They will come into force from 1 January 2024 and then be uplifted annually by SPPI. As recommended, a small working group will work separately to examine the methodology underpinning Guideline Hourly Rates.

GradeFee earnerLondon 1London 2London 3National 1National 2
ASolicitors and legal executives with over 8 years’ experience  £546 (£512)£398 (£373)£301 (£282)£278 (£261)£272 (£255)
BSolicitors and legal executives with over 4 years’ experience  £371 (£348)£308 (£289)£247 (£232)£233 (£218)£233 (£218)
COther solicitors or legal executives and fee earners of equivalent experience  £288 (£270)£260 (£244)£197 (£185)£190
DTrainee solicitors, paralegals and other fee earners  £198
£148 (£139)£138 (£129)£134 (£126)£134
* These rates uplift previous 2021 rates by the Services Producer Price Index, Q1 2022 – Q1 2023 inclusive so as not to include provisional SPPI data. Inflation post Q1 2023 will be captured in future annual uplifts.