Gouldens nets record rate in County Court appeal taxation

CITY firm Gouldens has scored a major taxation appeal victory, securing what is believed to be the highest level of hourly rate awarded for legal work in any County Court.

The firm recovered a rate of u217 per hour, including uplift, after an appeal hearing in the Central London County Court for litigation conducted by a partner. It was double that originally allowed for the disputed legal costs in NSP v Truebell. Gouldens acted for NSP.

Gouldens partner Allan Henderson says: “Hopefully, in future, County Court taxations people will be able to refer to this case.”

The successful result follows a survey last year by the London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA) which showed that expense rates awarded by London taxing officers in civil cases fell short by up to 40 per cent.

The Chief Taxing Master circulated the results to other masters and officers. A landmark case followed in KPMG Peat Marwick McLintock v The HLT Group, where Mr Justice Auld ruled that the LSLA figures were a valuable guide to current costs in central London.

Peter Ashdown-Barr, of Lawyers Financial Management, Gouldens' costs draftsmen, says: “This case is a victory for litigants who reasonably instruct central London firms of solicitors in County Court actions.