To claim expenses from someone I'm helping..

(34 Posts)
HappyGirlNow Thu 07-Feb-13 20:37:45

I'm acting as a witness for an ex-colleague I was friendly with in his divorce case. Basically, we worked in the same job a few years ago and while he left work to be a stay at home dad, I progressed further up the career ladder. What he is trying to prove in court is loss of career and earnings because he became the stay at home parent in the marriage.

My employers only allow unpaid time for witness service. I've discussed with my friend's lawyer and he said that my friend would be responsible for reimbursing me.

AIBU to ask to be reimbursed? It's well over £100 for the day and I have lots to pay at the moment as we've just moved house. My partner inferred that maybe I should just do my friend a favour and now I feel tight. I will also have travelling to pay and wouldn't ask for anything towards that. Am I being tight?

Allalonenow Fri 08-Feb-13 09:15:27

If you were being employed as an expert witness in a case you would certainly get a hefty fee expenses etc, this is no different really, he is using your experience to support his financial claim, so of course he should pay you.

MistyB Fri 08-Feb-13 09:27:35

If you have already had the discussion with your friends lawyer, then just put the expense claim through the lawyer. You do not need to have the discussion with your friend but it might make it easier to mention it to him, along the lines of, 'your lawyer has asked me for details of my out of pocket expenses', just so it does not come as a surprise.

IMO, you are doing a good thing for your friend and hopefully in the bigger scheme of things, someone will do something to help you out one day. I usually find it is not the people you help who are in a position to help you in return but having something in the Karma bank makes you feel better about accepting help from others in the future. (I hope your friend remembers to say Thanks, even if he is having a stressful time!)

senua Fri 08-Feb-13 09:29:52

Here's a thought. What if the case was adjourned to a later date. Or your presence was required for more than one day? shock

I think, seeing as he is argung over loss of earnings, then you have every right to ask for recompense for your loss of earnings. Let his solicitor know your situation: they may be thinking that you - the one with the career - is more loaded than you really are. Put the facts in front of them and see what solution they come up with.

Yfronts Fri 08-Feb-13 09:53:49

I wouldn't if it was for a friend. Ask him to buy you a beer after?

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 10:23:38

Thanks Yfronts, I'm in a real quandary hmm

RedHelenB Fri 08-Feb-13 10:32:30

i really can't see the need to attend! Just cos you got a promotion doesn't automatically prove he was due one & he surely has old wage slips to prove what he was working & when & a P60 to show his earnings?

I would just offer to send a signed statement - I really don't see how your two penorth will massively help him tbh & you are going to be out of pocket & havinga day away from a job that you don't need to take.

RedHelenB Fri 08-Feb-13 10:33:45

BTW, usually I am in the do someone a favour camp but this does seem a bit unreasonable, a bit differrent if you were his boss!

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 10:42:34

Thanks RedHelen.. I know, but they must think it's worth it?

I've gone back to his solicitor and given him a figure for lost earnings and he's said he'll speak to my friend and see how he wants to proceed. I feel a bit funny about this I suppose. Firstly, I just feel funny mentioning money, but secondly it'll be funny to see what they come back with - if they come back and say they don't require me anymore - what does that say? That my testimony is worthwhile as long as its only me losing out financially but not them? Hmm..

ZillionChocolate Sat 09-Feb-13 10:16:25

If giving evidence was inconvenient for witnesses then I would see if there was a way around it. It doesn't sound as though your evidence is likely to be all that controversial, so it's just about possible it could be agreed.

Yfronts is exceedingly generous to give up a day's pay for a beer. I wouldn't for someone I wasn't close to.

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