Ophen Operations UK Ltd v Invesco Fund Managers Ltd [2019] EWHC 2504 (TCC)

Guideline hourly rates

As the end of the decade fast approaches everyone is taking a quick look back in the ’10 year challenge’. For many of us the differences are inspiring, amusing, or sometimes slightly embarrassing. However, if you were to do this for the SCCO’s guideline hourly rates then you would be struck by the fact that they have not changed at all in the past decade. The rates were reviewed in 2015 but no changes were agreed due to a lack of evidence being provided in support of increasing the rates.

However, in the case of Ophen Operations UK Ltd v Invesco Fund Managers Ltd O’Farrell J was considering the issue of costs after granting the Defendant’s Application. The hourly rates were challenged due to them being significantly more than the SCCO Guideline rates. However, when considering the costs she commented the following:

It is unsatisfactory that the guidelines are based on rates fixed in 2010 and reviewed in 2014, as they are not helpful in determining reasonable rates in 2019 … Further, updated guidelines would be very welcome.’

We will have to see in 2020 whether a review is considered and an increase considered, in light of 10 years of inflation for example.

The full judgment can be read here.


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