Discrimination claims - civil

An individual can be subjected to discrimination in any number of day to day situations. If you have been treated less favourably by an organisation in the public sector, a business providing a service or a private club, society or organisation in the course of your day to day lives our discrimination law solicitors can provide specialist advice, assistance and representation. We are able to guide you through the options available to you when moving forward with a civil discrimination claim. If you would like to speak to a member of our team call us on 0203 816 9314 or complete our online enquiry form.

Organisations which can be held accountable for discriminatory acts in the course of their business can include:

  • Local authorities 
  • Housing associations
  • Healthcare providers
  • Education providers (colleges or universities)
  • Government departments
  • The police and other emergency services
  • Leisure service providers
  • Retail outlets
  • Public and private transport providers
  • Private clubs, societies and associations

 

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Discrimination claim time limits

Civil discrimination claims against such organisations are brought in the county court. However, the time limit for bringing these claims of this nature is strictly within 6 months less one day of the act or acts complained of. It is therefore very important that you seek legal advice as a matter of urgency following an incident of discrimination. 

What can the court do?

There are a wide range of remedies which the county courts can order should a finding of discrimination be made, which include:

  • Issuing a declaration that the organisation has committed an act of discrimination
  • Issuing a recommendation that the employer takes steps to reduce the adverse effects of the discriminatory acts going forward
  • Ordering the payment of compensation to the claimant for the injury to feelings caused by the act or acts of discrimination

Issuing orders for injunctive relief. These orders require that the perpetrator of the discrimination takes measures to ensure that the discrimination immediately ceases against the claimant and against others in the future. These orders can prescribe the exact action which must be taken by the organisation at fault.

Funding your civil discrimination claim

Claims of discrimination involve a very complex area of the law and many people would prefer to instruct a solicitor to assist them with these types of disputes. However the thought of the costs that might be associated with this help can be off-putting.

There are a number of ways in which instructing our discrimination law team can be funded.

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Civil discrimination claims - funding options

Payment on an hourly rate

Paying a solicitor on an hourly rate to deal with the whole of a claim in the county court is the most traditional method of funding. It secures you comprehensive assistance from day one, but you will need to consider whether the cost of proceeding with a claim outweighs the benefits and the value of it.

If you are successful in your claim at trial you could be entitled to claim the payment of your legal costs by the defending party. However, if you are unsuccessful then you could be ordered to pay your opponent’s legal costs.

If your claim far exceeds its benefit and value, and you are prepared to accept the risk that it may not succeed, then this could be a good method of funding for you. 

Fixed price assistance

If you wish for the merits of your claim to be assessed at the outset before proceeding and/or thereafter prefer to manage your claim yourself but require assistance with particular stages of your case, we are able to offer fixed fee services for carrying out such specific tasks.

Our fixed fee services provide for the cost of the work to be known up front which may be preferable to you. The types of work that can be undertaken under our fixed fee plans are initial assessment of the merits of your claim, preparation of court documents, advice and assistance with negotiation and representation.

Funding under an insurance policy

Everyone who owns a house will have taken out buildings insurance, and as part of this type of cover you may also have the benefit of a legal expenses insurance policy which can sometimes cover legal assistance discrimination claims. You can check this by looking at your policy terms, or contacting your insurer directly.

If you do have the benefit of legal expenses insurance, you do have freedom of choice to select the solicitor you would like to instruct, and we have extensive experience of acting for clients with this type of policy. We are able to liaise with insurers on your behalf to quickly secure cover.

Public funding

Varied levels of public funding are available to those who are considered by the Legal Aid Agency to be financially eligible for assistance.

Stephensons are one of only three providers in the country who can offer advice and assistance under the Legal Aid Agency’s Civil Legal Advice Scheme.

This funding is limited to remote advice and assistance under the Legal Help Scheme at the outset and at that stage does not provide for representation at court hearings. However, should your claim be assessed and considered to have ‘sufficient benefit’ to proceed through the court process, a further stage of funding can be applied for which, if granted, can provide for full representation in your claim up to and including trial.

No win no fee

A 'no win, no fee' type agreement involves a firm acting for a client without up front payment in return for a percentage of the damages awarded which are recovered at the conclusion of the case. This type of funding is popular with clients who are not eligible for public funding in their case, who do not have the benefit of a legal expenses insurance policy and cannot afford to instruct a solicitor on a privately paying basis.

Our discrimination law team will be happy to consider the possibility of assisting you with your claim on the basis of a no win no fee agreement, at your request. 

What should I do next?

If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination and you would like to discuss your claim with our team call us on 0203 816 9314 or complete our online enquiry form.

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As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.