Jersey lawyers’ charge-out rates rise by two-thirds since 2003

Top-end partner rates at Jersey’s premiere firms have increased by 64 per cent since 2003, according to exclusive research for The Lawyer.

Research by costs lawyer Jim Diamond has revealed that partners’ top-end hourly rates at Jersey’s first-tier firms have gone up from £350 to £575 over the past seven years. Lower-end partner rates at the same firms grew by 58.3 per cent, from £300 to £475.

Top-tier Guernsey partners’ hourly rates for 2010 are between £400 and £475 per hour. No figures were given on previous years’ fees in Guernsey.

The growth at Jersey firms marginally outstrips the top-end rates of magic circle firms, which increased by 61 per cent at the top end, rising from £450 to £725 per hour over the same period (20 September 2010).

Unlike at the magic circle, however, hourly rates at Jersey firms did not fall in 2009.

Associate rates at Jersey’s top-tier firms have also risen continuously since 2003. Rates for a five-year qualified advocate have increased by 59.6 per cent at the top end, from £235 to £375 per hour, and 33.3 per cent – £225 to £300 – at the bottom.

A newly qualified lawyer, meanwhile, will cost more that 100 per cent than they did in 2003, up from £160 to £325 at the top end.

Partners at mid-market firms in Jersey charge between £325 and £400, a five-year qualified advocate between £250 and £300, and an NQ between £225 and £250.

Continuing the trend for lower costs in Guernsey a partner, five years PQE and NQ at a mid-range firm in Guernsey respectively charge between, £300- £340, £225-£275 and £185-£225.