Many clients contact Lincs Law Employment Solicitors and ask for “No Win No Fee” representation for their Employment Tribunal claim. However, they are often surprised when we suggest that this may not be the best funding choice for them. Indeed, for the majority of our clients, “No Win No Fee” may well be a disproportionately expensive way of getting the representation and assistance they need. Read on for more.
No Win No Fee Employment Tribunal Representation
The starting point when considering this type of representation is that you must be litigating your matter at the Employment Tribunal. In essence, there must be a live claim you can win for this type of funding. As a consequence, this funding option will rarely be available if you need assistance in the early stages of an employment dispute or where you are going through an internal procedure, for example a disciplinary, grievance or PIP. This is, of course, a disadvantage as what you do and say in the early stages will often be critical for any future Employment Tribunal claim.
The next consideration is that parties at the Employment Tribunal bear their own costs. This means that win or lose, you will be responsible for your own legal fees for representation. This also means that the cost of representation has no bearing on any amount of Employment Tribunal award or settlement you receive. In other words, the value of your claim is the value of your claim and it does not change because you have a “No Win No Fee” agreement for your representation.
This leads to consideration of how the “No Win No Fee” arrangement actually works. You would not have to pay if your claim was unsuccessful at the Employment Tribunal, which sounds great. However, if you are successful, your solicitors would retain a percentage of any settlement or compensation you were awarded. The percentage to be paid is agreed at the outset and will not depend on how much or how little work the solicitor has done. This might be of little consequence if your Employment Tribunal claim goes to a full hearing. However, over 80% of Employment Tribunal matters never get to a final hearing as they are settled at an earlier stage. In those circumstances, “No Win No Fee” funding could result in you paying significantly more for your legal representation than would have ordinarily been necessary. Simply, your solicitor could have done very little work but you would be charged up to 25% of your settlement.
If I Don’t Use No Win No Fee, What Are My Options?
If you are going through the Employment Tribunal process, there are other (and often more cost effective) ways of getting help and assistance with your matter than “No Win No Fee” representation. I set out the options available at Lincs Law Employment Solicitors below:-
Legal Expenses Insurance
This is by far the best option for our clients. If you have legal expenses cover as part of your home and contents policy, as a free benefit for a bank account or similar then you can use that cover to fund our work and Employment Tribunal representation. Your insurers will pay for our time and assistance. Except where there is an excess payable on the insurance policy, you do not have to make any payment, win or lose. You also get to keep all of the settlement or Employment Tribunal award we achieve for you. For more information visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/fees/employees/
Pay As You Go Representation
This is where we give an estimate for our fees at the outset and then you pay an hourly rate for our work as we go along. You are only charged for the work which is actually done and, therefore, if the case settles quickly this can be a very cost effective funding choice. For more information visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/fees/employees/
Conditional Fee Representation
This is similar to the Pay As You Go arrangement in that you pay an hourly rate for our work as matters move forward. However, that rate is substantially discounted against our usual rates.
Then, if we are successful in achieving a settlement or Employment Tribunal award, we will also charge a success fee. The success fee is agreed with you at the outset and is only paid if we achieve a settlement or Employment Tribunal award for you.
If we are not successful, you would only pay the reduced hourly rate for the work we had done and so your risk is greatly reduced. We find this funding option is usually best when a claim is complex or unlikely to settle quickly. For more information visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/fees/employees/
At Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, we are aware that the cost of full representation can sometimes be prohibitive and disproportionate to the potential value of the claim. However, we are also aware that the prospect of pursuing your claim yourself can be daunting.
We therefore offer a number of ways in which we can assist people to properly present their claims at the Employment Tribunal and give themselves the best possible chance of being successful.
Fixed Fee Consultation
As the name suggests, a Fixed Fee Consultation is a meeting and advice at a fixed cost. At a Fixed Fee Consultation, we will take a full background from you. We will then assess what potential Employment Tribunal claims are available and their value. We will then discuss with you any time limits and what next steps need to be taken.
The above is usually helpful to our clients. Often, we are able to identify claims in the background of their situation that they were unaware of. Also, we can offer guidance about the particular type of claim they are bringing and help them to understand the relevant legislation.
Our assessment is also helpful in so far as we can usually give guidance as to the valuation of an Employment Tribunal claim. On many occasions, I have met with clients who have received an offer during the ACAS Early Conciliation process and have been told they should accept. When I have gone through the background with them and assessed the situation, we often find the compensation being offered is inadequate to settle their claims.
We do not limit the number of Fixed Fee Consultations a client can have. Many clients representing themselves at the Employment Tribunal make repeat appointments so we can review their situation and assist them throughout the Employment Tribunal process. We are told by our clients that Fixed Fee Consultations are an invaluable and cost-effective way of helping them with their Employment Tribunal matters. For more information visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/fees/employees/
Fixed Fee Work
In addition to Fixed Fee Consultations, we can offer a fixed fee service a various points in the Employment Tribunal process. If you are representing yourself, you will be required to provide documents and information in readiness for your Employment Tribunal hearing. At a minimum, you should expect to produce:-
- The Employment Tribunal Claim itself;
- A Schedule of Loss setting out the compensation you are seeking;
- A bundle of documents for use at the hearing; and,
- A statement from you and any witnesses you have.
We would be happy to prepare all or any of the above for you at a fixed cost. The costs would, of course, depend upon the complexity of your matter and number of documents etc. If you have done most of the preparatory work yourself, we would be happy to give you a fixed cost for representation at the final hearing.
For many of our clients, this is a cost effective and sensible way of obtaining our assistance as and when they need it. They have complete control over how much they instruct us to do and, of course, any costs they incur. For more information visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/fees/employees/
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you have started (or are thinking of starting) an Employment Tribunal claim, contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. Simply use the contact form, engage in a web chat, email email@example.com or call us on 01522 440512 and we would be happy to speak to you about your circumstances and what funding options might be available to you. For more information about the Employment Tribunal process and what to expect, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/the-employment-tribunal-process/
Managing Director, Specialist Employment Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, Lincoln