The majority of recommendations put forward by the Civil Justice Council Committee to amend guideline hourly rates have been rejected by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson.

Lord Dyson’s response to the proposals was that ‘to raise [the rates] in line with inflation would be arbitrary.’ The reason for the rejection was the lack of evidence on which the recommendations were based – something echoed by the Law Society, and to a degree by the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Justice Foskett. He had pointed out previously that the Committee did not have effective resources to gather the volume of information necessary, and had previously warned firms that any such report would be ‘hollow’ without sufficient input. Lord Dyson stated that he could not approve the proposed amendments with anything less than ‘sound and reliable evidence’.

Lord Dyson rejected the recommendation to include a new Grade E rate for paralegals with less than 4 years’ experience.  He did, however, accept the recommendations not to introduce a Grade A Star rate for fee earners with more than 20 years’ experience and also the proposal to amend the criterion for Grade A fee earners to include Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives with at least 8 years post qualification litigation experience.

Find the full recommendations and Lord Dyson’s decision here: