Time recording is not commonly practiced by Irish Solicitors at present and it is only one of the factors that can assist the Taxing Master on Taxation. Time recording itself for the purpose of Taxation is quite useful. It greatly assists the Taxing Master to gauge how much time was actually spent on each individual matter. However you should note that time recording only provides assistance when assessing fees on Taxation and it is not merely a mathematical method of arriving at a Solicitor’s general instructions fee.

It has been accepted by the Courts that the use of an hourly rate alone is not a fair and reasonable method of assessing a Solicitor’s instructions fee (see Best v- Wellcome Foundation Limited [1996] 1 ILRM 34).

Time is only one important factor in assessing a reasonable Instructions Fee and all criteria for such an assessment are set out in Order 99 Rule 37 22 (ii) of the Rules of Superior Courts 1986

However, it was held by Mr Justice Herbert that a change was brought about by Section 27 of the Court and Court Officers Act, 1995 and held that the time spent by the Solicitor on his work must be detailed by the production of time records. He also held that where no time records exist, it is incumbent upon the Solicitor to calculate or estimate the time spent on any matter. Failure to do so would be a problem for the Claimant Solicitor (see C.D. –v- Minister for Health and Children & Another [2008] IEHC29).

This was also upheld by Mr. Justice Ryan in the matter of Cafolla –v- Kilkenny & Others [2010] IEHC24.

In line with the above High Court decisions, it is currently the practice of the Taxing Master to request the party presenting the costs to also present an estimate of the time spent by the Solicitor on the matter (where time becomes an issue), the subject of the Taxation. Therefore it is recommended that time recording be implemented in today’s modern legal practice.