Solicitors Costs Information

Solicitor costs informationThis section solicitors costs information deals with the rates that are normally allowed for solicitors' profit costs on an inter partes summary assessment.  This applies to all cases/hearings that last less than a day where the Court is asked to assess how much one party should pay to the other party's legal costs.

The person dealing with the case does not necessarily have to be qualified as a solicitor and the guidelines set out various rates for grades based around the experience of the person dealing with the matter.  Surprisingly for such a clear set of definitions there are still regular cases of people claiming that they are a higher grade than they actually are.  Part of the difficulty is that any costs schedule produced requires the solicitors to confirm that they have not charged more than their client is liable to pay and not that the contents of the schedule are accurate in all respects.

Solicitor costs informationYou should identify the relevant grade of fee earner dealing with the case, the relevant Court and then check the rates for the appropriate date.  Where you are dealing with costs before 2003 you should use the second table as the grades were revised in 2003 to introduce a higher tier and acknowledge the use of para-legals (people with no relevant legal qualifications).

On an assessment the court will usually either allow the appropriate rate for the fee earner conducting the case or assess the level of fee earner that should have conducted the case (if lower) and allow that rate. The rates are guidelines only and can be exceeded in appropriate cases.

 

Lawyer Grades from 2003 onwards
A Solicitors with over 8 years post qualification experience including at least 8 years litigation experience.
B Solicitors and Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives with over 4 years post qualification experience including at least 4 years litigation experience.
C Other solicitors and Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives and fee earners of equivalent experience.
D Trainee Solicitors, para legals and fee earners of equivalent experience.
  Lawyer Grades pre-2003
1 Solicitors with over 4 years post qualification experience.
2 Other solicitors and Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives and fee earners of equivalent experience.
3 Trainee Solicitors and fee earners of equivalent experience.

It is worth noting that the grades are based on experience and not status.  "Legal Executives" for this purpose means Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives, who are members of the Institute of Legal Executives who have completed at least 5 years on the job work experience as well as passing the exams.  They have F Inst LEx after their name and are a category of lawyer.  If the person you are dealing with says they are a Legal Executive without these intials after their name they are probably a member of the Institute only, are breaking their rules by not advising you of this and are classed as para legals.  To check the status of a person holding themselves out as a Legal Executive you can access their online directory by clicking here.

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