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Employment Law - No win no fee

(6 Posts)
thereonthestair Fri 25-Jan-13 12:30:16

Hello

I am an employment lawyer and very very ocassionally I do no win no fee, but I don't normally do it in the employment tribunal because of the costs rules. I do know some people who do still do some variation on non win no fee and make a living at it. But as a huge generalisation I do think they are generally any good.

Have you got any legal expenses insurance (look at your mortgage if you have one) if you have that would usually give something, if not try CAB again who can also sometimes get other advice for free from people like me pro-bono. You can probably do an awful lot yourself if costs are an issue the ET is not that scary a place. Get the advice from CAB about what your claim is worth, time limits (be excat - 1 day out makes all the difference) an set out what you think happened and why chronologically.

Flowery, as ever, is spot on.

I had a horrendous situation at work last year, and was desperate to leave. It was constructive dismissal with bells on! However, I couldn't take the chance of flouncing out as I needed the money. Once I had a sniff of a job offer, I did though. I had plenty of evidence of my boss' appalling behaviour. HR were well aware I had been treated dreadfully by him....it is a long story.

Anyway, I knew that if I took it the ET, I would get nothing...my new job pays a lot more. But I wanted to make him sweat. So I resigned and claimed (in the email) constructive dismissal. I had an exchange of emails with the external solicitors (expensive US firm), and one day had 4 letters on the door mat. I had 3/4 telephone conversations with them. I knew this was costing my boss a lot of money. I also got immense satisfaction from knowing that a lot of people had seen my letters which set out exactly what an arse he was.

After a few weeks we agreed a compromise agreement and I received tax free a good sum of money (equivalent to about 3 months usual pay).

The thing is that I have a quite a bit of employment law experience and so knew what to do and what buttons to press. If I had appointed a solicitor, the money I won would have been eaten up very quickly. I did speak off the record to some employment solicitor friends, and also to a couple of solicitors who I considered appointing at one stage (I thought that having letters from a serious firm might make my boss take me more seriously), but ultimately dealt with it myself.

It was a win win for me. But don't underestimate the stress that you could go through. My DH was seriously worried - but delighted at the ultimate result!

flowery Fri 25-Jan-13 10:49:26

If you've got a new job it's almostly certainly not worth your while, or worth the amount it will cost you. Compensation for unfair/constructive dismissal is purely based on financial loss, so unless your new job is significantly less well paid, it's probably not worth pursuing it, as your financial loss as a result of having to resign is minimal.

CaptainRex Thu 24-Jan-13 22:16:00

Thanks - Ive been told by the CAB that I have 3 months to lodge the tribunal and as its constructive dismissal, I have untilmarch / April time - but am definately trying to get things going as I will have to fit it around my new job

Jiddle Thu 24-Jan-13 20:43:04

You're thinking of a Conditional Fee Agreement and they are very rarely "no win no fee". More commonly "pay some of our fees now and if you win we'll collect the rest from the other side plus a success fee"

I am a lawyer - not an employment lawyer - but as far as I'm aware in tribunal claims you pay your own costs even if you win, e.g. you can't recover them from the other side if you win. For this reason I would have thought it would not be in your interests to have a CFA because if you win then your solicitor would look to you for his/her success fee.

In court of course the situation is different and often in employment cases there are court proceedings in parallel with a tribunal claim.

For tribunal claims I believe there is a very short limitation period and you have to bring your claim within 6 months of the cause of action arising so don't hang around.

CaptainRex Thu 24-Jan-13 18:32:39

I have a work issue (potential constructive dismissal) and need to talk to a lawyer with a view to taking this further.

Googling solictors is difficult to work out which one are NWNF and which are just talking about and wondered if anyone could recommend one

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