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A fee regime was in place from 29th July 2013 whereby fees had to be paid upon issuing a claim before an Employment Tribunal and upon the case going to a full trial. The fee for issuing a claim was either £160 or £250, depending on the type of claim. The hearing fee was £230 or £950. On 26th July 2017 a judicial review case was heard at the Supreme Court brought on an application by Unison against the Lord Chancellor. The Supreme Court declared that fees in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal were unlawful, under domestic and EU law. It quashed the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013. The Supreme Court determined that the fee regime effectively prevented access to justice and was a breach of common law and constitutional rights. It was also held that it was indirectly discriminatory to have fees contrary to the Equality Act 2010.
As a result of this case all claims brought before an Employment Tribunal from now on will not incur a fee. It also means that that those Claimants that incurred fees at anytime during the four year period whilst the fee regime was in place are entitled to a refund. The detailed arrangements for recovering previously paid fees was due to be announced in September but the scheme has yet to be revealed.
There is now the potential for reinstatement of claims that were rejected by the Employment Tribunal as a result of a failure to pay the correct fee. There is also legal argument for allowing claims out of time on the basis that the Claimant could not afford to bring the claim when fees, that have now been held to be unlawful, were in place.
If you have any queries about fees or past or current claims our employment law expert, Jenny Carpenter can assist.
Adams Harrison sponsored the Haverhill Triathlon once again this year with two teams taking part.
Jack Stewart and Rebecca Dedman ran the last leg and Adams Harrison came in 1st and 2nd as a team.
It is worth being aware that a new Civil Procedure Protocol comes in to effect on 1st October for debt recovery. Therefore, if you are a business seeking payment of a debt from an individual, including a sole trader there is a protocol you should be adhering to before you issue County Court proceedings. This includes proceedings within the small claims track. A formal letter of claim must be sent, containing specific information and providing the debtor with prescribed forms to complete and return within 30 days.
The protocol does not apply to business to business transactions and dealings.
The protocol could have a significant affect on companies and businesses owed money as the process to recover debts will be more cumbersome and time consuming. Debtors can delay payment by up to 90 days.
There will be penalties for businesses failing to adhere to the protocol by suing individuals before the protocol, including the letter of claim have been complied with. The consequences include:-
a) Further delay in collection of debts if the court determines that formal legal proceedings are stayed (paused) whilst failures to comply with the Protocol are dealt with.
b) The possibility of costs sanctions in that the creditor may not be able to recover their legal costs, or worst still will have to pay the debtor’s legal costs.
c) Inability to recover interest from a debtor or recovery at a reduced rate.
Some organisations may need to revise their debt recovery procedures to take into the new protocol.
We can provide advice on the procedures that you are required under the protocol to have in place. We can write on your behalf the formal Letter of Claim that is a requirement of the Protocol.
We all know that writing a Will is important, but too few of us recognise that we should also consider something called a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA.) LPAs give another individual the legal authority to look after specific aspects of your affairs. There are two types of LPA:
1. Health and Welfare- This allows you to choose a person (or persons) to make decisions about things like your daily routine and medical care.
2. Property and Financial Affairs- This allows you to choose a person (or persons) to make decisions about money and property such as paying bills or selling your home.
As people may become incapacitated through accident or illness, we would recommend putting in place an LPA at the earliest opportunity. If you do not have an LPA and later become mentally incapacitated, relatives may face delays and expense applying to the Court of Protection to take control of your finances.
For an LPA to be effective, it must be registered with The Office of Public Guardian. Your Attorneys can only act on your behalf once the LPA has been registered. If it is a Health and Welfare LPA, then they can only act once the LPA has been registered and you have lost mental capacity.
EPAs were replaced by LPAs in 2007. If you have already made an EPA, it is still valid, but does not allow your Attorneys to make decisions about your health and welfare. You may therefore wish to consider putting an LPA in place for Health and Welfare.
One of our solicitors, Dawn Staal, who took part in the Pretty Muddy fund raising for Cancer Research – Dawn raised well over £200.00 for the cause.
Thank you to the partners for donating to this worthy cause in return for my sporting the Adams Harrison T Shirt. Thank you also to those of you who also donated.
I had a lot of fun doing this and I am pleased to say that I completed ALL of the obstacles. I also got pretty muddy as you can see from the photos.
We are very pleased to announce that Hannah Jeffries, one of our secretaries in the Conveyancing Department, based in our Saffron Walden office, has achieved a Distinction in her Cilex Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice.
Congratulations Hannah from all at Adams Harrison.
01799 523441 Saffron Walden
01440 702485 Haverhill
01223 832939 Sawston