Filed Underhourly rates
An interesting article appeared in the latest edition of Solicitors Journal (see link) concerning whether City rates should be recovered in personal injury claims (obviously not).
4 Responses to “City rates in personal injury claims”
Of the two articles, the argument against is more pursuasive.
Complexity/speciality knowledge should be relevant in deciding whether an enhancement is justified, not the place where the work was done or proceedings issued. Even then there should be added value, because a complex case awards the solicitor with more recoverable hours of work.
A 409 (+ 203% on band 2)
D 138 (+ 124%)
And that’s before you add some sort of specialism enhancement.
The argument is just silly. PI and commercial work inhabit fundamentally different markets, and PI lawyers delude themselves if they think otherwise. Compare a topnotch PI practice like Irwin Mitchell to a real City firm and ask: does the PI firm have a 24 hr secretarial service? Does it have a 24/7/365 reprographics department capable of handling, say, 20 million pages a year? Do staff have to be paid to work all hours in order to liaise with NYC and Hong Kong? Does it have a library of 10,000 volumes plus, with subscriptions to all major Commonwealth and American law reports and journals? Does the PI firm have to run a recruitment drive targeted at the best candidates at Oxbridge and equivalents in the US & Australia, paying trainees 50K plus packages? Do middling assistants expect salaries in the 150K + bracket? Are international travel and worldwide offices a major PI overhead? The answer to all of these question is consistent, obvious, and negative. City rates for PI work is a nothing more than a mirthless joke.
There are some very exceptional cases where one could make a respectable argument that City rates are appropriate. But the firms concerned could probably achieve such a rate by applying 44.5(3) factors to exceed Central London guidelines.
[...] a previous post, on the subject of whether personal injury work should attract "City rates", Jacques Hughes provided an answer so definitive that I must share this with all [...]
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