Recording Time and Labour


Recording Time and Labour Under Order 99 of the Rules of the Superior Courts you are obliged to maintain records of the time and labour spent.


In order to properly record time and labour you should keep a brief attendance which sets out the following:


1. Why the work was done;

2. Who in the firm did the work;

3. What they did; and

4. How look they spent working on the matter.



Time Sheets


If a solicitor's section 68 letter notes that fees will be raised on an hourly rate, detailed time sheets must be maintained. Otherwise, the solicitor has breached its contract with its client.


Time sheets should note the following:


1. Who did the work;

2. The Hourly charge out rate;

3. The time claimed; and

4. Note of work done



In addition to maintaining time sheets, time and labour should also be recorded as noted above.



Hourly Rate


The hourly rate should take into account a number of factors:

1. the Seniority of the Solicitor who works on the case;

2. the complexity of the item or of the cause or matter in which it arises and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved;

3. the skill, specialised knowledge and responsibility required of the solicitors

4. the importance of the cause or matter to the client;

5. where money or property is involved, its amount or value; and

6. the running costs of the office. 


You should also take into account the likely time and labour involved so as to make sure that the work is adequately profitable and that you are not overcharging.



Taxing Master


The Taxing Master has an obligation to consider all records of time and labour and furthermore to consider your hourly rate. If he forms an objective view that your hourly rate has not taken into account all of the factors and you have submitted in your Bill of Costs that you are entitled to an uplift, he may allow same. Likewise, if your hourly rate is too high given the above factors he is likely to disallow any fee above what he objectively believes is too high.