‘No win no fee’ – frequently asked questions
What is ‘no win no fee’?
Within the employment department here at Stephensons, we offer clients help with employment tribunal claims under what is known as a ‘damages based agreement’. This is an agreement which allows us to assist you, similar to a no win no fee basis.
A damages based agreement allows you to instruct us with regards to your employment claim, without the risk of paying any fees upfront. This means that you only ever pay anything if your claim is successful or if we secure settlement on your behalf and our fee will be taken directly from the compensation you recover.
What is covered by the agreement?
The agreement will cover our assistance throughout proceedings and/or during settlement negotiations, depending on the assistance that you require, and that we are able offer. This means that you will not be required to pay any money for our assistance upfront.
The only thing not covered under the agreement, are disbursements incurred during proceedings. We have provided some more information regarding disbursements below.
Does my case qualify for no win no fee?
We offer no win no fee assistance for a number of employment matters such as unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing and unlawful deduction of wages.
We can also assist if you are still employed by your employer and intend, or are in the process of, negotiating an exit/settlement agreement with your employer. This situation often arises where you feel that your position with your employer is untenable, and you have no other option than to leave.
Negotiating a settlement saves the time, costs and stress associated with taking your employer to a tribunal and assisting you in this way can help achieve an earlier outcome with a financial settlement guaranteed.
What do I have to pay?
If we are successful in winning your case, or if we obtain settlement on your behalf, then we will retain up to a maximum of 35% of any settlement received. This amount will only be recovered after your matter is concluded, and monies are received. The amount we take depends on the merits of your case, the risks involved and the value of your claim.
The current rate of VAT stands at 20%. However, our VAT is already included within our percentage, which means that there is no additional VAT payable to us from your settlement.
What is meant by disbursements?
As mentioned above, it is possible (although unlikely) that you may be required to pay for disbursements which we incurred as we progress your case.
Disbursements are essentially legal expenses that we may incur when we are working on your case, other than our fees.
The main example of the type of disbursement that may be incurred with tribunal proceedings would be the cost of a barrister if your case carried on to a hearing.
However, you can be assured that this is never something that we intend to incur, as we will always strive to settle any case before a final hearing goes ahead.
In the unlikely event we are required to incur any disbursements in your case, we will always let you know well in advance, to avoid any surprises.
What can be expected once I sign the agreement?
Once the agreement is signed by you and your new solicitor, you can be sure that we will continuously act in your best interests and will strive to obtain the best possible result for you, whether this be by achieving an early settlement in your case or assisting you with tribunal proceedings.
We will also ensure that we comply with our professional obligations imposed upon us by our regulator’s code of conduct.
What happens if the other party ask me to pay their legal fees or I want them to pay for mine?
This is otherwise known as a ‘costs award’. However, it is normal practice with employment tribunal proceedings for both parties to bear responsibility for their own legal fees regardless of who wins/loses, so, it is unlikely that you will be required to pay your employer’s legal costs.
What are the different ways I can sign my agreement?
When it comes to signing and returning your damages based agreement, we will accept either a physical, handwritten signature or e-sign.
Should you not have access to a printer/scanner, you can just let us know, and we will be happy to send you a copy of the agreement by post.
Who will work on my case?
After your case has been reviewed, it will be assigned to one of the specialists in the employment department. You can find details of all of our specialists and their varied experience further up the page.
What happens when I send the agreement back?
Once your signed agreement has been returned to us, your supporting documents will be reviewed by the specialists. This review will allow us to consider the strengths and weaknesses of your case, as well as allowing us to consider the value of your claim, which we would recover in compensation either by settlement or as an award (an amount of compensation decided by a judge).If you require assistance with an employment claim and you think that your case qualifies for no win no fee, you can contact our team on 0333 999 7156 and one of our specialists would be happy to help. We can handle cases on a national basis.
We understand that choosing a solicitor can sometimes be overwhelming, but you can be sure that our team of specialists will make the process as stress free as possible for you.