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Sen tribunal costs

(9 Posts)
manishkmehta Sun 08-Dec-13 13:45:06

Are people willing to say what they spent going to tribunal on advocates, solicitors, barristers,and experts.... WITHOUT naming anyone, and what they won. I appreciate winning aba or an independent school isn't going to be easy.

I heard a horror story where parents spent £25,000 and won next to nothing.... I then spoke to a mum who spent £2,000 on an ep assessment, report and attendance at the hearing and won a £70,000 pa ABA school.

Am I wrong or are some people out there taking parents for a ride? I worry parents might be paying far too much for things that aren't just necessary, or am I wrong?


HMSfaSENd Mon 06-Jan-14 01:28:24

Been to four, two against parts 2,3 and 4, one against parts 2 and 3 and one EQA, pretty much got what was requested on each occasion... LA wasted money on barristers but I represented myself. Not saying it isn't stressful but just that it's possible to win without legal representation.

manishkmehta Mon 06-Jan-14 22:50:41

Dear HMSfaSENd,

I am VERY happy to hear that you won, by yourself, and against a barrister. I have often wondered how easy, or not, it might be for parents to win against an LEA that instructs lawyers / barristers. I am happy to see that the 'truth' was what won the day, in your case four times!... I suppose what i am learning, and seeing is that it's all about NEEDS... The process can work, and if you got what you needed then it does lead me to believe that the system, even though slow and painful, does eventually get there...

I think you are an excellent example of how parents can do it. I understand it is stressful. Looking back i wish i had done it by myself. Going forward, armed with the IPSEA training i have received, i will self represent.

Good on you...Well done,


PS - to the parent i spoke to last night... Legal aid, whilst almost impossible to obtain these days,... is still available and you should find out more from any of the three firms that do legal aid work...

HMSfaSENd Mon 06-Jan-14 23:43:01

Yes but it's an annual need Manish to go to tribunal if hard fought battles resolve need only for that juncture in time only and then foul play at annual reviews means you're back at square one months later. I'm not sure that counts as winning, certainly not in the long term but I don't think a legal rep would make it any longer lasting.

I was only making the point that it could be done, I hope that didn't come across as saying that it's easy, securing what a child needs in the current system is a nightmare that never ends. How LAs justify funding barristers when parents are not represented is beyond me, this money could have been spent on the provision that is ultimately ordered, surely that would be better all round?

I feel that for me it's better to try and risk things not working out than not try at all. I don't know if these are good choices, the whole family is impacted by the stress if going to tribunal, so am not sure well done is appropriate.

kikis2 Fri 24-Jan-14 00:57:23

Hello Manish
Could you please tell me how much your SENDITS cost you? What did the reports from various professional cost? And how much was Barrister/Solicitor? ( Who did u use)
Thank you in advance.
Kind regards

dawdling Fri 24-Jan-14 01:27:06

I represented myself. No choice.

DS got the place plus taxi I asked for but (ridiculous money) but i was left with a feeling of randomness tbh.

Other parents (South East) have since mentioned sums in the £25-30k area.

If i had some cash but knew then what i now know, i would say spend on reports, talk ( a lot) to IPSEA and rep yoursef. Tribunal panel were v approachable but of course it is terrifying.

However my feeling was that they were very aware of the system.

manishkmehta Fri 24-Jan-14 22:08:49

Kikis2, Trust me you don't want to know what it cost... it still makes my blood boil... If I had to do it all again I think I'd do it all myself... Although I suppose I would say that as I've now been an IPSEA tribunal rep for approx 13 months... Whilst I appreciate it's easier to do another parents hearing (emotional detachment) I think I would be confident in doing my own for my daughter.

We went to tribunal twice... Won both, well, the second one settled the day before the hearing... We won a fully funded ABA program, part home and part school, in a mainstream setting.

The more I speak to parents the more I think that parents with help on forums like this can do it themselves... It's not easy, but it's not rocket science either... I personally really like IPSEA and what they do... As an IPSEA rep I love meeting new parents and helping them and learning more about all the complex situations / problems people are going through, and doing my best to help them... It's kept me sane joining IPSEA... As a parent with a young child with ASD I will have to live with "this" forever... IPSEA is a great way to meet people, help people and learn more about the law to help yourself...

Looking back we spent way too much on legal bills, NEVER AGAIN! There are so many options for parents…

a)legal aid (very hard to get these days – but parents should check)
b)IPSEA (helpline and tribunal representation)
c)Advocates (some great ones – Fiona and Nigel + others I’m sure)
d)I never seem to meet parents who have used a direct access barrister… I think that would be cheaper than using a solicitor… Who knows, I might just go down that route if I need to go back to tribunal in the future.

manishkmehta Fri 24-Jan-14 22:12:03

Oh, by "this" i mean... the continual hassle of tribunal, annual review, experts,... blah blah blah... it's the complexity of it all that i refer to by "this" - it's all a big merry go round,.. If only the system were better... ah,... and it's all about to go through change with the new legislation expected this year! - what fun.

2tirednot2fight Sun 26-Jan-14 11:47:46

If anyone is considering direct access barrister I would consider Paula Clements, I think she is worthy of consideration, I would use her if I needed to

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