The Civil Justice Council Costs Committee has released a synopsis of its second meeting which took place on 6 June 2013 to start work on its review of the guideline hourly rates.
The discussions centred on eight surveys, including the Firms’ Finance Survey 2011 and the Practising Certificate Holders Survey 2012. It was agreed that the work of the Committee should focus first on the four different groups of data required relating to expense of time, namely:
- Grade of fee earner and region
- Salary for each level offee earner
- Chargeable hours perfee earner/region
- Overhead costs, allocated per fee earner/region.
The synopsis said that using regularly conducted surveys had the advantage of allowing the benchmark for salaries, chargeable hours and overheads to be reassessed as those surveys were repeated in future years.
Having worked out the costings under these headings, the Committee will move onto the more sensitive task of factoring in a suitable profit margin. The Committee also discussed the possible availability of data from other sources,such as CILEX,the ABI and others.
The next tasks of the Committee will be to agree the contents of its own survey, and the method of inviting the submission of evidence from bodies such asthe LSLA, APIL, MASS, FOIL and NHSLA, and to consider ways of encouraging as wide a response as possible from solicitors’ firms.
The Committee aims to meet again in late July.