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Thanks again Pusillanimous,

 

I was sworn in to read my statement near the beginning - so that would hold for the discussion on costs.

 

Should the judge have known in the meeting that the respondents had issued a 'costs warning' prior to the hearing - or is that a procedural no-no before he reaches a judgement in the hearing?

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The first thing you need to do is to write to the ET and ask for written reasons. I believe you then have 42 days from the date written reasons are sent to you to appeal the order up to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. See Rule 38(10) of the ET Rules:

 

(10) Where a tribunal or chairman makes a costs order it or he shall provide written reasons for doing so if a request for written reasons is made within 14 days of the date of the costs order. The Secretary shall send a copy of the written reasons to all parties to the proceedings.

 

We are going to need to know a lot more details before anyone can say whether you have a realistic chance of appealing this order. The most important thing is to know what the written reasons say. Will probably also need to know what the case was about, why your claim was misconceived, what representations you made to the tribunal about costs and what the key point raised at the CMD was all about.

 

In principle, in-house lawyers can recover costs at a reasonable hourly rate on the same basis as private practice lawyers, subject to a number of caveats which I won't go into just now. It isn't limited to wage costs. I appreciate this explanation is as clear as mud, I can't be more specific because the case law is unclear and is very unsatisfactory. This area of costs law is developing at the moment. If the ET fixed the level of costs rather than sending them to the county court to be assessed, it may be difficult to challenge the rates.


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