In short, the answer is maybe, but it depends on the complexity of the matter rather than the geographical area of the solicitor’s firm. It is important to note that London 1 rates (‘City rates’) do not work in the same way as the rest of the hourly rates allowed by the Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO). Not only is a city post code (EC1 – 4) required but the work undertaken must be of exceptional substance. It is important to take into consideration the decisions made within the Matter of King –v- Telegraph (2005). Please see Paragraph 92 of the link below whereby Master Hurst stated:
“City rates for City solicitors are recoverable where the City solicitor is undertaking City work, which is normally heavy commercial or corporate work…A City firm which undertakes work, which could be competently handled by a number of Central London solicitors, is acting unreasonably and disproportionately if it seeks to charge City rates.”
Interestingly, the SCCO informed that most of the Costs Officers have never come across a case where ‘city rates’ have been allowed on a Court of Protection bill…
If you require any further advice or assistance in relation to your Court of Protection costs, please do not hesitate to contact the Clarion Costs Team on COPCosts@clarionsolicitors.com or 0113 246 0622.