4. Is there a reasonable range of hourly legal fees and work hours charged for certain work (e.g., preparing a witness statement)? How to make sure that the fees demanded from the lawyer of the other party are reasonable?
Taxation is exactly the gatekeeping process whereby the Court assesses the reasonable amount of costs payable under the costs order. Costs will usually be allowed if they are necessary or proper for the legal steps taken by the winning party. You will also have the chance to file your List of Objections on the items claimed in the Bill of Costs. For example, you may object to the excessive hourly rates charged, the excessive time spent on a particular work or duplication of charges on same works.
Moreover, in a normal party and party taxation, the Court will usually make reference to the standard approved Solicitors’ Hourly Rates (“SHR”), and the SHR will depend on the post-qualification experience (“PQE”) of the solicitor. The higher the PQE of the solicitor, the higher hourly rates for works done will be allowed in a taxation. Also, the SHR for High Court proceedings will also be higher than the District Court proceedings. The receiving party will need to justify to the Court if they claimed the amounts higher than the SHR.