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Updated Solicitor Rates for Taxation

Stephan Chan

 

Updated Solicitor Rates for Taxation (Party and Party Basis)
 

Successful litigants in Hong Kong rarely recover their full legal costs (i.e. those costs paid to their own lawyers) from the losing/counter party. 

For the past 20 years, the process of recovering legal costs from another party (known as “taxation”) was based on what was considered “fair and reasonable” rates for solicitors calculated in 1997.  Until now, the rates have lagged far behind the commercial rates charged by lawyers in Hong Kong. 

The updated rates will take effect from 1 January 2018.
 

High Court

EXPERIENCE

BEFORE 1 JAN 2018

AFTER 1 JAN 2018

CHANGE (%)

Trainee Solicitor

1,066 to 2,000

1,700

--

Newly admitted

1,600 to 2,000

2,600

30%

2 - 4 years

2,000 to 2,500

3,200

28%

5 – 6 years

2,400 to 3,000

3,900

30%

7 – 8 years

2,900 to 3,500

4,500

28.57%

Over 10 years

3,200 to 4,000

See below

--

9 – 15 years

 

5,200

30%

Over 15 years

 

5,800

45%


District Court

EXPERIENCE

BEFORE 1 JAN 2018

AFTER 1 JAN 2018

CHANGE (%)

Trainee Solicitor

533 to 650

1,130

74%

Newly admitted

1,066 to 1,280

1,730

35%

2 - 4 years

1,350 to 1,650

2,130

29%

5 – 6 years

1,600 to 2,000

2,600

30%

7 – 8 years

1,900 to 2,300

3,000

30.57%

Over 10 years

2,100 to 2,600

See below

--

9 – 15 years

 

3,460

33%

Over 15 years

 

3,860

48.46%

 

Practically, this means there is now less of a recovery gap for winning parties in litigation.  The substantial increments are intended to allow Hong Kong to remain competitive as a preferred venue of choice for international dispute resolution. The recoverable rates are finally closer to what lawyers actually charge in the city.

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