A key decision on guideline hourly rates will be delayed by at least a month, the Civil Justice Council (CJC) has revealed.
In a statement today, the CJC's costs committee said it was still finalising its report on the rates, with a view to making a recommendation to the master of the rolls.
Guideline hourly rates for solicitors' firms have remained substantially unchanged since 1 January 2009 when the advisory committee on civil costs recommended an increase of 1.7% as an interim measure.
The committee invited opinion from the legal profession last November and had intended to make recommendations by the end of March, with a view to a decision by this month.
The CJC statement said further meetings are scheduled for the middle of this month to finalise the figures and discuss geographic bands to which the rates should apply.
It added: 'The committee has sought to undertake a comprehensive review, and the complexity of the issue and the breadth of evidence considered has meant the timetable has been longer than originally anticipated.'
It said the master of the rolls, Lord Dyson (pictured), has been consulted and has agreed to an extension.