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Hi all,

A Pre thanks for any advice given.

I'm currently due to go to ET on 9th Jan and after a lot of emails from respondant, I have received the old "without Prejudice save as to costs" letter saying.."In the circumstances, and for the reasons listed above, the Respondent believes your claim has no reasonable prospects of success. Notwithstanding this in an attempt to bring this matter to a conclusion without further costs being incurred the Respondent is willing to withhold pursuing you for the costs it incurs in defending the claim, should you agree to withdraw your claim before 02 January 2013. If you choose not to withdraw and this matter progresses to hearing and you are unsuccessful, our client reserves the right to draw this email to the attention of the Employment Tribunal and make a cost application against you. Rule 76(1) allows a Tribunal to award costs against a party who has acted vexatious, abusively, disruptively or unreasonably in proceedings or when a claim had no reasonable prospects of success."

I know this hardly ever happens but I was wondering how to reply I and a few other people some professional (not Lawyers) believe I have a strong case their 'paperwork' and 'witness statements' are pretty awful as in they contradict them selves.

I find it pretty shocking that they have suggested I have been vexatious, abusive, disruptive or unreasonable I find this to be discriminating against me.. I don't want to be picky but I want a decent reply to them. I highly doubt "IF" they did win the would be awarded costs as I have a family (Wife and 3 Kids) and currently on JSA (Not by choice).

 

Sorry for the long post and thank you

Merry Christmas to all

Gary

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I just wanted to reply to show that I will not accept there offer which is nothing and that I will if need be take it all the way to the tribunal and try to be professional and I won't be deterred by these sort of letters etc.

Thanks

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best thing to do is ignore it; that'll be more annoying for them.

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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but they haven't offered resolution. they've offered an almost not at all veiled threat which requires no response. "Agree a settlement" doesn't seem to appear in that letter.

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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Firstly, you need to look at the facts of your case and its prospects of success. What is the basis of your claim - Unfair Dismissal? Discrimination? Whether you win or lose will primarily be the result of how the facts fit the claim, rather than how well or otherwise one party has prepared the paperwork. For an Misconduct Unfair Dismissal case for example, where the Respondent only needs to demonstrate that they had 'reasonable' grounds to believe guilt, and that dismissal was a 'reasonable' sanction to impose, then they may not need much by way or evidence to corroborate this.

 

Secondly, it really isn't worth playing letter tennis in these circumstances. You have received a standard letter, which isn't accusing you necessarily of acting vexatiously, but hinting that your claim may be misconceived. The only response I would give, is to state that following due consideration of their letter, and having taken legal advice (have you actually done this - even if only a free session with an employment solicitor?), you refute the suggestion that your claim does not have a reasonable chance of success and consequently you will not be withdrawing the claim. There is no need to try and be clever with them.

 

If the claim goes to a full merits hearing and if you were to lose, they may not even apply for costs, especially if you set out your claim with clear reference to the law. If there is a costs application, then the Judge will need to consider firstly whether you have acted reasonably in bringing the claim and whether there was a clear argument that the Respondent acted unlawfully. he will also consider to what extend the Case management Orders were followed, and your conduct during the case. You will have to be shown to have had no real prospect of success, or to have frustrated the legal process in order for them to be awarded costs - and Judges do not like WP letters which are used solely as a scare tactic, even though they are almost routine nowadays. If you can demonstrate that you also took qualified advice before proceeding to a hearing even after receiving a costs warning, then this would also be in your favour.

 

What is the basic outline of the case?

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The Basic outline of the case is Constructive Unfair Dismissal, I resigned due to a fundamental breach of trust by my store manager, I can prove he has lied on numerous occasions with the evidence I hold, I also went through company grievance policies first to try and resolve this but was to no avail. The Company have only got hear say evidence and the witness statements them selves are not correct regarding my grievances and the dates do not coincide.

Thanks

Gary

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Right, so sounds as though you have some evidence to support your claim, which if the Respondent cannot refute those allegations, the matter will be one of whether any breach of trust was sufficient to justify a resignation. You clearly also sought to resolve the matter more informally.

 

On that basis you will already have gone some distance to indicate that you are being reasonable in bringing a claim. Have you met the deadlines so far imposed by the CMOs? What stage is the case it currently?

 

Not responding to a WP costs letter may well result in a further warning that you have failed to address the substantive points raised in their letter, perhaps even quoting Peat v Birmingham City Council where a failure to consider the points in a WP letter could be held to be unreasonable conduct under Rule 40(3). Better to draft a simple response which states that you have considered each of the points that you have raised and that your actions in bringing the claim are not vexatious, nor have you acted unreasonably or, considering the substantive points of the claim, is it misconceived in its nature. Do not give any detail or show your hand in any way as this may well be used to help the employer to shape a defence around your likely arguments.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Hi I have followed every step and date given in the order we have just exchanged witness statements, we only have one step left on the order and then the tribunal date I have been offered a commercial offer through acas which was offensive if i'm honest my schedule of loss is over £25k and they offered £500. They have said they believe they have a really strong case (well if they do then mine must be duper strong).

 

I have sought legal advice but this was at the very start and the Employment Lawyer said it seems a strong case but that was without all the evidence I have since gathered

 

Thanks for the advice

I will send a small reply

Gary

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Hi Dolbeair,

 

such a scare tactic is not unusual by a Respondent. If you are worried about this you could write and ask them to immediately email you the schedule of the costs they would submit (so that you can at least gauge the risk).

 

In addition to Sidewinder's useful post #7 above, it is also worth knowing that the judge, in considering any costs application, would also have to take into account your ability to pay any costs which the respondent's have applied for, before making any such award.

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I refer to the letter and email I received recently regarding the above.

I have considered each of the points that you have raised and my actions in bringing the claim are not vexatious, nor have I acted unreasonably, I have not been abusive, nor have I been disruptive considering the substantive points of the claim.

I believe Mr :evil: breached an implied term of trust and confidence with myself which I find is a fundamental breach of my contract thus leading me to resign, I also believe the evidence I have not only proves that Mr :evil: breached my trust but that he acted on his own thoughts and not in my best interest. Due to this the return to work under Mr :evil: was not possible.

 

The evidence I have can prove that my resignation was a last resort as I tried to resolve any issues amicably and through the grievance procedure set out with in work policies.

 

How does this sound as a basic reply.

 

Thought it was basic SCARE tactics I'm not worried about them claiming for costs as I'm pretty confident they will lose and if they do win i have no financial back up so will not be able to pay

, don't own my own house either so no equity.

 

Thanks

 

Gary

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Why do you even bother to write to them?

You are not obliged to explain anything to them, you will do it to the tribunal.

 

Of course the respondent's reps will threaten you with all possible things, it's their job.

Yours should be to ignore it.

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If you are to respond, I don't think you need to go into the detail of the case. Personally I would acknowledge receipt of the message and state that you do not agree with their view of the case. Whilst you would be willing to consider a settlement, any offer should be realistic.

 

 

I would go no further than that.

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Of course the respondent's reps will threaten you with all possible things, it's their job.

Yours should be to ignore it.

 

If the other side are threatening a costs application it requires consideration - it should not be ignored - that would be foolhardy. You need to assess the risks of that threat.

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