Costs - Annex 1

Legal Guidance
  • Magistrates' Court
  • Crown Court

Application for costs against convicted defendants - Scales of Cost

Current rates/scales as of 1 September 2009

1. The policy of CPS is to apply for costs against convicted defendants unless the particular circumstances of a case mean that such an application would lack merit or an order for costs would be impractical.

2. The following scales provide guidance on the level of costs incurred by the CPS in various types of proceedings. The scales represent the average costs incurred in a wide range of cases and provide a benchmark to estimate the costs in individual cases (excluding very high cost cases). The scales are indicative of single defendant cases only and the figure should be increased by 20% for each additional defendant.

3. More complex cases should attract the higher range of costs and relatively straightforward cases the lower range. The figures include all staff preparation costs, including advocacy in magistrates' courts and time spent in the Crown Court by paralegal officers/assistants. Add to these figures witness expenses, counsel fees or Crown Advocate's advocacy costs (for Crown Court cases), and other specific costs, where appropriate.

4. When seeking a costs order, prosecutors should inform the court of all costs incurred and invite the court to consider what should be paid. Discretion should be exercised in putting forward a reasonable estimate of the costs incurred in the individual case.

5. The average hourly rates appropriate to CPS staff are:

  • Lawyers - £69 per hour
  • Paralegals - £51 per hour
  • Support staff - £44 per hour

6. Types of Proceeding:

Magistrates' Court:

  • Proof in Absence - £85 (set amount)
  • Early Guilty Plea (EFH)
    • Lower - not applicable
    • Average - £85
    • Higher - £100
  • Summary Guilty Plea
    • Lower - £105
    • Average - £135
    • Higher - £160
  • Summary Trial
    • Lower - £620
    • Average - £775
    • Higher - £930
  • Either-way Guilty Plea
    • Lower - £145
    • Average - £185
    • Higher - £220
  • Either-way Trial
    • Lower - £770
    • Average - £965
    • Higher - £1,150

Crown Court:

  • Committal for Sentence
    • Lower - £340
    • Average - £425
    • Higher - £510
  • Appeal against Sentence
    • Lower - £260
    • Average - £330
    • Higher - £395
  • Appeal against Conviction
    • Lower - £415
    • Average - £520
    • Higher - £620
  • Section 51 Early Guilty Plea
    • Lower - £535
    • Average - £670
    • Higher - £800
  • Committal for Trial (Plea) - This scale includes the costs of committal / transfer / sending proceedings
    • Lower - £1,200
    • Average - £1,500
    • Higher - £1,800
  • Committal for Trial (Trial) - This scale includes the costs of committal / transfer / sending proceedings
    • Lower - £2,800
    • Average - £3,500
    • Higher - £4,200