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Posts posted by SweetLorraine

  1. Thanks a lot becky2585, the number of claims have decreased alarmingly!


    This must have had knock on effects in the legal profession surely!


    As for the civil service court workers, an 80% drop in workload - and some of them are as inefficient and ineffective as ever!*


    *And some are worth their weight in gold - thank the Lord they are there.angel.gif


    ....The key principle is that the employer should not be enriched - basically, if he instructed lawyers, he should only receive his legal bill and nothing more.




    Hi steampowered, I thought I'd look a bit deeper into the 'enriched' principle, but the link doesn't seem to lead me to anywhere (it might be me just being dozy!) Can you recommend any websites that might expand on this key principle?



    Regards. SL

  3. Thanks for the information steampowered. I take your point about reasonable behaviour etc; and if a claimant has charged forth in a blind fury with no chance of success then he/she rightly lays themselves open to the possibility of picking up the bill.


    However I believe employers could do more to avoid things getting as far as they do. I have come across several examples where, with a little more common sense on both sides, things could have been probably resolved without a full hearing.


    For example (I have come across this three times now) I don't understand why some employer's legal reps threaten/intimidate a claimant with a costs warning letter but do not mention a figure, and only show the costs schedule to the claimant when all the parties (and their witnesses) are sitting in a tribunal waiting room suited and booted a hour or so prior to the hearing itself.


    Surely if one wished to instil the heebeegeebees into a claimant or, more kindly perhaps, give them a reality check, a more effective way of doing things might be to warn the claimant of the said figure weeks in advance (and let them stew on the consequences of proceeding)?


    Maybe there is some tactical advantage for the respondent only to reveal such a thing only at the last minute - but it is beyond me as to what that advantage might be, other than to induce instant fear/terror.


    I do think it is unfair on the claimant (and the tribunal) to behave in this way. If someone could enlighten as to why it is done at the 11th hour I would be a much more effective advisor.



    Thanks again citizenB, however I was thinking about costs orders against claimants only (not the respondents - which may say a lot about my mindset!), these articles seem to deal with compensatory awards for claimants.

  5. I have another query.


    Under the 2013 rules (78a) an employment panel can make a costs order of up to £20,000 against a claimant if the claim fails. More than £20,000 it has to be assessed by a county court. OK.


    I understand that the tribunal does have a lot of latitude in determining the level of a costs order between £0 and £20,000, but surely there must be some means of assessment that a panel would have to use to determine a total costs award figure? I am told that the usual rule of thumb is a third of the total that the employer is claiming. Can it be as simple as that?

  6. citizenB! This is fantastic, you have unpicked my own (unrealised) confusion between the £500 relating to deposit orders and the £500 relating to costs orders.



    So the costs order limit lifted from £500 to £10,000 way back in 2001, and it interesting to read a CAB digest from 2004 talking about employer's using costs threats to intimidate claimants (a problem that is still around today). Costs are a particular bugbear of mine.



    The ceiling of costs awards was further increased from £10,000 to £20,000 in the 2013 changes.



    Thank you very much for this clarification.

  7. Hello,



    this is an 'academic' query I'd like to ask.



    I was doing some background reading recently around ET matters (I'm doing some voluntary work at a CAB at the mo) and I noticed that there was a time apparently when tribunals were limited to a costs award of £500 against a claimant (a golden age?).



    Could someone tell me when this all changed? I imagine it must have been years ago given the blank look I got when I asked at work.



    (I assume that when the limit was removed it may have had a similar effect on the number of ET claims submitted as had the 'recent' introduction of upfront fees?)



    PS - heartening to see so much helpful advice and support still be shared on this site.


  8. Hi Alexa24,


    well, you haven't got a written warning yet so you may be worrying about something that still might not happen.


    You should be allowed to take someone to sit with you in the hearing if you so wish (check your employer's internal disciplinary procedures).


    Written warnings should only sit on a employee's record for a number of months dependant on the employer's internal policies (3 or 6 months perhaps) - though I seem to remember final written warnings sitting on an employee's record for a year at a previous employer I was working for; then they should expire.


    Don't worry too much - it is a storm in a teacup compared to what some people on here are going through. If you are unhappy with the job and the people (men bitch a lot too you know!) you can always start looking around for something else.


    All the best.

  9. Hi unfairdismissal2,


    you are working to some tight deadlines!


    Tricks and strategies? Tell the truth clearly (as you see it), support it with reference to your bundle. Google around for advice - here are two useful examples I found very quickly.






    Good luck. :yo:

  10. Hi standupforyourself,


    a legal advisor will earn their corn in this situation I'd say. A decision as to whether you have acted unreasonably so as to attract a costs order is based on evidence and the submissions the Tribunal will receive from both sides.


    The question may boil down to when the Tribunal considers you were unreasonable in pursuing the claim, from the start, perhaps from the point of when you 'turned down' their offer of a settlement, perhaps from the point of the costs warning onwards. Perhaps there will be no costs award against you at all. The respondents have to argue their case as well of course. Costs awards are unusual after all.


    But, yes, do seek legal advice; although well meaning, one or two of us might give you misleading hope/information as we reach out to the edge/beyond our ken and without knowledge of all the facts around the hearing.

  11. Hi again standupforyourself,


    it might be worthwhile emailing the Tribunal (fao: the judge who headed the hearing panel or signed the order) briefly laying the issue with your husband's earnings (apologetic in tone?). At least there will then be a written record of you trying to address/resolve the issue ahead of the costs hearing.


    At the costs hearing (I imagine) you may be asked 'so what do you have to say about costs amount?'. steampowered does make a good point about challenging the costs, you probably need a legal eye cast over that issue. It could 'pay' dividends particularly if the legal advisor can truncate the level of costs to a certain point later on in the proceedings. So do look at that costs schedule, how transparent is it? You can seek clarification from the respondents (and it doesn't help them if they don't reply).


    If the senior solicitor has been doing the photocopying is it reasonable have that activity charged out at £250 an hour? (No). Have the respondents submitted a reasonable amount of hours preparing for the hearing? If they have over-egged it the Tribunal may have a view on that issue as well. Have they charged a reasonable hourly rate - hourly rates are capped at a certain level.


    You mentioned you came across a good website that dealt with costs. Could you post the link on here? it might help other members in the future.

  12. The Tribunal is required to take your ability to pay into account. This was a requirement/'constraint' that was placed on them some time ago.


    If they cannot view your husband's earnings, they may simply conclude that they cannot make a reasonable assessment of your ability to pay, ergo they are 'unshackled' from that requirement. The Tribunal has wide discretion on what they then consider a reasonable figure (which cuts both ways of course). EATs can be reluctant to overturn that decision.


    The Tribunal can decide not to award costs of course. The respondents can appeal that decision - and likewise EATs will be reluctant to overturn the original decision.


    In a way, it is spin the bottle time! It could stop, pointing in your favour of course. If it does go against you though don't despair, you still have the appeals process and possibly pursuing the solicitor.


  13. Hi again,


    OK so you went on knowing in advance knowing they would apply for costs of around £100k if you were unsuccessful. Not the end of the world.


    OK, you solicitor made a crucial mistake. There are cases in bailii where that is an issue which the ET might take into account.


    If your case turned on such a point you could possibly claim the sum of the costs award (and some of your legal advisers fees?) from the solicitor's professional indemnity insurance scheme. Maybe?


    Each claim/case is individual, and many circumstances have to be taken into account. Awards of cost were rare I'm told, but I know of several such cases in the last year or so.


    The rough rule of thumb for an award seems to be around a third of the bill - but as I say, each case is different. There are cases in bailii where the respondent has stuck in a six figure bill, but the claimant has only (?) had to pay £10k of it - still a huge figure to the individual though. I'II dig out the case if you like? Might take a little time - but if it helps calm the nerves it might be worth looking at?


    Crucially the Tribunal has to take into account your ability to pay any costs awarded.


    The Tribunal itself may query the level of costs submitted by the respondent, and you have a right to challenge those costs as well. You could also try to argue that it is not appropriate to have submitted all the costs, perhaps the bill should only run from when you refused to settle? I guess what I am saying is that the respondents haven't got their hands on any lolly yet - and you may still have the option of an EAT as well. Costs awards are rarer still at an EAT - but not impossible.


    You can see I'm not a legal eagle can't you - maybe bits of useful advice but some splashing around a bit as well. Given the sums involved you should really be talking to a professional. Where are your solicitors now? Can't they offer any advice on this issue?

  14. Good for your Husband ;-) I agree with his attitude.


    I agree smokejumper, but does that really help the claimant? Leaves her in a bit of a bind with the ET, who may not be that impressed with her husband's (understandable) stance.


    It might be worth the claimant ringing up the ET service (they should have plenty of time on their hands these days given the drop off in claims) and speaking to them about her situation?

  15. Hi standupforyourself,


    sorry I can't directly help with your query (it is a bit of a technical one).


    Not a legal professional myself - so hopefully someone who is would can confirm - but are you aware you can ask the ET for a review of the Tribunal's judgement (and later any subsequent decision to award costs)? (I think you have up to 14 days from the date on the judgement itself - as opposed to when the hearing took place). I think requests for reviews usually get the knockback but a worthwhile step if you then appealed the ET's judgment to the EAT.


    Indeed if you wish to refer a judgment (or the subsequent costs award element) to the Employment Appeal Tribunal - you have 42 days to submit such an appeal to the EAT from the date on the signed ET document/judgment. The sooner the better though - i.e. don't leave it to day 40 and counting.


    You can seek free legal advice through your local CAB (if you like queueing).


    You are also entitled to ask the ET for full written reasons as to how they reached their judgement/decisions (and how they arrived at the level of costs).


    Hope that helps a bit.

  16. Hi P4J,


    I believed what I read about an employee being protected by legislation. I believed that the Tribunal system was there to help me and there to enforce that legislation. I learned I was wrong on both counts. Indeed I felt as though I had been 'criminalized' by the Tribunal process for doing what I perceived to be right..... and just to top things off I lost my job as a by-product of that decision to stand up for myself. I wish I had never touched an ET1.


    I had no idea how inward-looking and self-regarding the Tribunal service is, and how that manifests itself.


    I don't know how you let go of being in a hearing for 20 or so days and still get turned over. But do stop to consider that it might be over now P4J.


    You seem to know case law inside out, and the ET/EAT/CA processes seem to be very familiar to you. Perhaps you can help advise others on here with sound counsel? Your own experiences could be a blessing in disguise for others who will come on here to seek advice as they tread the same ground you once did?


    And it may help you recover as well, it helped me. I'm afraid I haven't kept up with the changes in the Tribunal processes P4J, so I guess I'm just about spent on this site. Someone like yourself could help contribute a lot to those that need help. Please give it some thought.


    I wish you all the best P4J. Look after yourself. :yo:

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