Hourly Rates Update

Following on from my post in July about the application of the recently updated SCCO Guideline Hourly Rates, there has now been a case in which the case of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd v LG Display Co Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 466 has been considered, but in which rates in excess of the Guideline rates have nevertheless been awarded.

In the case of Lappet Manufacturing Company Ltd & Anor v Rassam & Ors [2022] EWHC 2158 (Ch) in which Nottingham solicitors had been instructed, Mr Justice Adam allowed a grade A rate of £350 and a grade C rate of £230 per hour, whereas the band 1 Guideline rates for Nottingham are £261 for a grade A and £178 for a grade C.

In allowing the enhanced hourly rates, Mr Justice Adam cited the cases of Harry Cohen v Marion Fine & Ors and ABS Company Ltd v Pantaenius UK Ltd & Ors and said:

“In this case, I am satisfied that there is justification for an increase on the Nottingham Guideline rates. That arises from the complexity of the issues which arose on the two applications I disposed of. Both required specialist knowledge of the procedure applicable to intellectual property claims, and trademark claims in particular … In my opinion, the Claimants were thus fully justified in engaging solicitors with the appropriate specialist knowledge, appropriate to advising on the issues in question and managing the conduct of the Defendants’ applications … as I see it, a departure from the Guideline Rates is justified on the basis of the long-established principle that specialist solicitors in specialist areas of activity should recover an uplift to reflect that specialism, where that is justified in the circumstances”

It still remains, however, that a “clear and compelling justification must be provided” as held by Males J in Samsung v L G Display.

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