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Hi,

 

I now have a PHR meeting due to discuss my claim. I have been warned that I may face a costs warning if the case only has a small chance of success. What sort of costs would I be liable for and would I have to pay the whole amount or would my circumstances be taken into account? (I'm on benefits at the moment).

 

Bit of a worry.

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Hi,

 

I now have a PHR meeting due to discuss my claim. I have been warned that I may face a costs warning if the case only has a small chance of success. What sort of costs would I be liable for and would I have to pay the whole amount or would my circumstances be taken into account? (I'm on benefits at the moment).

 

Bit of a worry.

 

Hello again.

 

Who has made mention of costs, please?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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hi sidecar

costs are generally very rarely awarded in ET and only if the case is "vexatious" or otherwise unreasonable. I shouldnt worry too much.

but Honeybees question is relevant and should shed light on the tactics.


I am not a lawyer, so all my advice is provided on the basis that you will check them with a trained legal professional with legal insurance.:(

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Costs are much more common now than they used to be. However, the tribunal is obliged to take your ability to pay into account, so it probably would not be much.

 

Do not worry: they are just trying to frighten you.

Edited by Pusillanimous

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Hi honeybee13,

 

the judge at my CMD hearing arranged a PHR meeting to discuss the merits of the claim. He mentioned that it may be a possibility at this PHR meeting that the judge (hearing the PHR) may decide the case has little chance of success if it went forward. If so, I may receive a costs warning and I may have to pay a deposit (£500 perhaps). If I then took the case forward and if I lost the claim then I could be liable for the other side's costs.

 

As sure as night follows day, after the CMD, the respondent's solicitors sent me a letter stating they would be seeking a costs order at the PHR.

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But what did the Judge say. Solicitors or Respondents will very often indicate that they will be seeking costs, but there should have been an indication made at the PHR that the claim has little chance of success, and it is that which you should take notice of rather than the other side's solicitors. As stated above, this is a common tactic to encourage you to drop the case.

 

Is it a case with a reasonable chance of success?


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You will have to wait to see what the judge at the PHR hearing has to say. The other side always say they want to claim costs and point out that this can be up to £500,000 but that is not the same as being awarded them. In my limited experience of this judges have warned people about behaviour but not actually awarded costs. Listen to what is said at the hearing.

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Hi,

 

thanks for the advice so far. The PHR hasn't happened yet. The 'noise' is coming from the respondents.

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You can ignore whatever noise they make until the PHR and mention the fact that they have threatened costs at that time.


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Thanks again for the advice.

 

Going over my notes of the CMD hearing again, there was a curio that I had forgotten - it may not be significant. The judge who presided over the CMD decided to impose a word (count) limit on my witness statement, yet would not impose any similar word count limit on the statements of the five witnesses that the respondent has lined up. Is this a normal/acceptable practice?

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It is if he was expecting a load of rambling aggro....


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Thanks Emmzzi,

 

I'm mindful, in my statement, to stick to the issues that the Tribunal are being asked to consider. To go 'off-piste' would lose some of the claims impact/focus.

 

However is it a normal practice to restrict one side to a word count limit and not the other side? Would it be an EAT issue if my claim was unsuccessful?

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However is it a normal practice to restrict one side to a word count limit and not the other side? Would it be an EAT issue if my claim was unsuccessful?

 

It is a decision of the tribunal. The tribunal has wide-ranging powers. However, you have the right to appeal any decision within 42 days. There is a good chance you would win your appeal on this, if the tribunal has not given you any reason for this restriction. It is common for them to try to set limits. Did you ask for reasons? What do they say in the leter restricting you?

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Hi,

 

I have to deal with a preliminary (and important point) at a PHR before the main hearing. Does a written submission for a PHR require a certain format/elements/template or can I just lay out the facts as I see them and deal with the point in question?

 

Furthermore should I supply supporting documentary evidence with the submission or bring it along to the PHR?

 

Any advice would be really useful thanks.

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Did the judge at the CMD instruct you to provide documentary evidence? They may just do the PHR hearing based on verbal statements/discussions by both sides perhaps.

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It is a decision of the tribunal. The tribunal has wide-ranging powers. However, you have the right to appeal any decision within 42 days. There is a good chance you would win your appeal on this, if the tribunal has not given you any reason for this restriction. It is common for them to try to set limits. Did you ask for reasons? What do they say in the leter restricting you?

 

Hi, sorry to be a bit thick on this point - can I challenge a decision made at a CMD hearing or do I have to wait for the main hearing to have concluded before I can challenge any decision made by the Tribunal?

 

When the Tribunal wrote to me limiting the number of words in my witness statement there was no explanation - there was merely a figure in brackets for the amount of words I could use.

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Sorry, need to bump this back up - it is important though.

 

Can I challenge a decision made at a CMD and put it before an EAT before the main hearing - or do I have to wait until after the main hearing (i.e. if my claim fails in part due to a judge's decision at CMD)?

 

Thanks.

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Yes you can appeal it, I saw a similar case to yours on this issue. Complete the Form 1 EAT (Notice of Appeal) on the EAT website. You must send all of the documents they stipulate. You need to state the decision you are appealing from. You say you have a copy of the decision. Did you ask them for written reasons? If this happened 25th Jan, you might just have time to formally ask for a reason. (Within 14 days is normal. Send it urgently by fax and e-mail.) Ring up the EAT and ask what the protocol is.

 

There was some guy who complained that the judge at a CMD restricted him to only a few issues, out of his many, for the hearing, and he won. Unfortunately, I cannot remember where I saw it.

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Hi,

 

once a CMD has been held, how long should it be before the Tribunal sends out the notes to both parties? Is there a time limit laid down that we can hold them too? I have been waiting for a fortnight - is that length of time usual for a Tribunal?

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You should have had this within a few days. I suggest you ring them up as it might have gone astray.

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It depends on the Tribunal - it *should* be a couple of weeks, but I've had to wait two months on one of my cases from one ET in London!

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You should have had this within a few days. I suggest you ring them up as it might have gone astray.

 

Thanks Pusillanimous, the notes have now arrived.

 

The CMD notes say that I had to submit an explanation on a key point ahead of the PHR, which I have done (and sent to the respondents as well).

 

The respondent's have written to me claiming that (at the CMD) we also discussed putting together a small bundle of evidence ahead of the PHR and they want to see supporting documentation for my explanatory note.

 

This was not discussed at the CMD and the tribunal's notes of the CMD make no mention of it either.

 

What should I do? Ignore the respondent? Prepare supporting documentary evidence which I can hand out at the PHR if needed (which would seem the sensible thing to me) or something else?

 

Any help would be good.

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I am probably not the best person to help you with this, but whoever does help will need some more information. Why was your claim struck out? What was so legally wrong about it? When you say your Respondents didn't use wage costs, did they use solicitors or their own in-house personnel? If the latter on what basis did they charge an hourly rate? Plus any other details which may be relevant.


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Hi steampowered,

 

I should have been more accurate (and altered the query slightly) - I was interested in challenging the costs award.

 

It was mostly in-house personnel. On what basis do they charge the hourly rate? I'm told it is a notional figure.

Edited by sidecar

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Looking through the Respondent's schedule of costs they have used a cost per hour against the amount of time they claim to have taken on my case. It looks very inflated. Apart from the large amount of hours claimed, they have used a high 'charge-out' hourly rate rather than their actual salary cost - roughly putting 150%-200%+ on top of the wage cost (I used to work in Finance).

 

Have I any grounds for an appeal on how these costs?

 

It is virtually impossible to appeal a costs order, as the tribunal have wide-ranging and almost limitless power to award costs. However, if they did not invite you into the witness stand to give evidence on oath as to your ability to pay, then you have good grounds for appeal on that. You have nothing to lose, so put the appeal in, citing lack of procedure.

 

If you think appealing the actual case is unlikely to succeed (other than the poor procedure in awarding costs you cannot afford) then you could try to come to an agreement with the other party (say, offer to pay them x% of it over two years, for example).

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