Bringing a Claim

Initiating legal proceedings is a big step to take and however strong your case may appear with any litigation there are risks.  Employment related claims are no different. Although most employment law claim cases are dealt with in the Employment Tribunal and not a Court, there are still strict time limits to abide by, procedures to follow, evidence to adduce and a hearing to conduct.

There are also financial implications to consider: For claims issued on or after the 29th July 2013 fees must be paid to start a claim and at other stages in the proceedings. The table below sets out the main costs involved.

Fee Type Issue Fee Hearing Fee Total
Type ‘A’ Claims £160 £230 £390
Type ‘B’ Claims £250 £950 £1200

For more information about Tribunal Fees and the remission arrangements, see our Employment Tribunal Fact Sheet

Also, although you do not normally have to pay the other side’s legal costs (unless the Tribunal considers you have acted very unreasonably) if you lose your case, you do not normally recover your legal costs if you win (other than tribunal fees).

If you think you may have a case to take to Court or Tribunal one of our team of specialist Tribunal advocates will first take full instructions and advise you on the merits and value of your case. They will then consider with you of all the options and help you to make the best choices for you.

Surprisingly few employment law cases actually get as far as a full tribunal hearing but if that is the course your case takes, hearings are normally conducted by the individual lawyer who has been handling your claim so that you can be assured of total continuity throughout the process.

With effect from 6th May 2014 anyone thinking about making an employment tribunal claim MUST first notify ACAS who will contact the Respondent to see if they are interested in trying to settle the claim through conciliation. If the Respondent agrees and a settlement is reached, the claim won’t go as far as the Tribunal saving all parties time and money.

However, if one party does not wish to enter into conciliation or a settlement can’t be reached (normally within 1 month), the ACAS officer will issue the necessary certificate to enable the claim to proceed to Tribunal. The ACAS early conciliation service can be accessed via: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4028

Useful links:   http://www.justice.gov.uk/forms/hmcts/employment

Being clear on legal expenses

Representation for claims in the Employment Tribunal is costly – there is no escaping the fact  – so if you decide to instruct us one of the first things we will need to discuss with you is how you intend to fund the case. We regret we do not offer ‘legal aid’ or free services.

If, in our opinion, you have a strong case and you stand to recover a large sum of compensation we may be able to offer to offer you a ‘no win no fee’ arrangement but this is offered entirely at our discretion and only in a limited number of cases. If this arrangement is not available to you, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds available to cover the whole case, including a contingency sum to cover unforeseen circumstances. We ask you to pay in advance for our services so whilst you will not be expected to pay everything up front, you will need to keep us in funds on an on-going basis and are likely to be asked to pay substantial  sums at relatively short notice.

We do act for clients under their own legal expenses insurance, usually found with home or car insurance policies or sometimes with credit cards. However, many insurers have their own panel of lawyers and whilst they cannot prevent you from electing to use your own preferred Solicitor, they can dictate the hourly rate which they are prepared to pay. This may mean that it is not commercially viable to represent you under your insurance policy. If you have legal expenses insurance you should bring it to our attention at the earliest opportunity so that there is time to explore its availability well in advance of the deadline for submitting your claim.