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Transparency Policy

EMPLOYMENT

Employment tribunals (unfair and wrongful dismissal)

 

What will it cost?

Simple case:                                £1,500 – £3,000 (excluding VAT).

Medium complexity case:       £3,000 – £5,000 (excluding VAT).

High complexity case:              £5,000 + (excluding VAT).

 

Factors that could make a case more complex:
  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person.
  • Making or defending a costs application.
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties).
  • The number of witnesses and documents.
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer.
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £750.00 per day (excluding VAT).

If you are a member of our Regulatory only BACKup scheme, you may be entitled to a discount on our hourly rates.  Please enquire if you are interested in becoming a member.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as Counsel Fee, travel and postage to be agreed in advance. Counsel’s fees estimated between £750.00 to £1,500.00 per day excluding VAT (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

 

Key stages
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change).
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
  • Preparing claim or response.
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing.
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents.
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
  • Preparing bundle of documents.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.
How long will my matter take?

The duration from initial instructions to final resolution of a matter depends largely on the complexity and facts involved, as well as the stage at which a case is concluded. If settlement is reached during early conciliation, a case is likely to conclude within a month, albeit this time period can be increased with the agreement of the parties via ACAS. If your claim is issued and proceeds to a Final Hearing, a case may be listed within 36-48 weeks subject to Tribunal availability. Settlement or resolution can occur at any time during proceedings with agreement via ACAS. The above is an estimate and an updated timescale is provided throughout the conduct of the litigation.

 

Experience and qualifications of those who will carry out the work

Our team has over 30 years of collective experience in advising on employment matters.

We have five members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who has overall conduct, they will be supervised by Steven Meyerhoff, Director of Backhouse Jones and head of the Commercial Litigation and Employment Department.

 

Steven Meyerhoff

Steven is a Director at Backhouse Jones and head of the Commercial Litigation and Employment team at Backhouse Jones. Steven qualified as a Solicitor in 2005 having completed his training contract at Backhouse  Jones. He attended Liverpool John Moores University where he was awarded his Bachelors Degree in Maritime Business and Management with First Class Honours. He then attended the College of Law where he was awarded his Graduate Diploma of Law in Legal Practice and completed the Legal Practice Course in 2003.

Steven has been a Solicitor at Backhouse Jones for 13 years, acting for clients in both an Employment and Commercial Litigation capacity. He is currently the lead Solicitor in the RHA’s Truck Cartel Legal Action which has been issued in the Competition Appeal Tribunal “CAT”. If granted, this will be the first action of its kind within the UK. Steven is also responsible for the supervision and development of the Trainees within the department.

 

James Lomax

James qualified as a Solicitor in 2010 having completed his training at Backhouse Jones. He attended Leeds Metropolitan University where he was awarded his BA Hons in Law and IT. He completed his Legal Practice Course at the University of Central Lancashire in 2008

James has been a Solicitor at Backhouse Jones for 8 years, acting for clients in both an Employment and Commercial Litigation capacity. He is currently assisting in the RHA’s Truck Cartel Legal Action which has been issued in the Competition Appeal Tribunal “CAT”.

 

Laura Smith

Laura qualified as a Solicitor in 2012 having completed her training at Backhouse Jones. She attended Liverpool John Moores University where she was awarded LLB Hons in Law. She completed her Legal Practice Course at the University of Central Lancashire in 2010.

Laura has been a Solicitor at Backhouse Jones for 6 years, acting for clients in both an Employment and Commercial Litigation capacity. She specialises in Employment law representing clients nationwide in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal.

 

Heather Lunney

Heather qualified as a Solicitor in 2009 having completed her training at Brabners LLP. She attended Liverpool John Moores University where she was awarded her LLB Hons in Law and then completed her Legal Practice Course at the University of Central Lancashire in 2006.

Heather has been a Solicitor at Backhouse Jones for 3 years, specialising in Employment law. She regularly represents clients in the Employment Tribunal and delivers employment training.

 

Tahira Patel

Tahira qualified in 2006 after completing her training at a firm in Burnley.  She initially worked in the Personally Injury, Crime and General Litigation department and then went on to pastures new specialising in employment work advising companies on a vast array of HR issues.  She moved to Backhouse Jones in December 2018 after working in Manchester for 10 years.  She brings with her a wealth of experience regarding all employment matters.

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Debt recovery (up to £100,000)

Usually, the process of recovering a debt starts with a letter advising the individual or company debtor that if they do not settle their debt within a specified timescale, you will take action to recover what you are owed. If payment is not received, the specific circumstances particular to your situation will determine if and what further action is required.  This could range from issuing proceedings, seeking judgment, issuing a statutory demand, insolvency proceedings and could also later require enforcement. The various options will be outlined to you upon initial instructions including an indication of the likely costs.

Another factor which determines the particular action to be taken is if the debt is disputed or undisputed.

If the debt is disputed, we can progress the recovery for you and would provide details of our costs to do this and the various options available to you upon initial instructions.

If the debt is undisputed, we can offer a fixed-fee option and the details of this are set out below.

 

Fixed fees for a business to business debt that is undisputed
What will it cost?
Letter of claim

The cost to issue a letter of claim will be £15 plus VAT for claims up to the value of £10,000 and £30 plus VAT for claims over the value of £10,000 and up to the value of £100,000. For any claim over the value of £100,000 a price will be provided upon request.

 

Court Claims

These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid debt which is not disputed, and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one-off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

 

Debt Value Court fee Our fee Total
Up to £300 £35 10% of the value of the sum recovered

If Court Proceedings are issued between £50-60 depending on service of the Court papers (if more than one Defendant £15 extra per Defendant)

If Judgment is entered £22-£55 depending on the stage at which Judgment is entered

 

£TBC
Greater than £300 but no more than £500 £50 10% of the value of the sum recovered

If Court Proceedings are issued between £50-£60 depending on service of the Court papers (if more than one Defendant £15 extra per Defendant)

If Judgment is entered £22-£55 depending on the stage at which Judgment is entered

 

£TBC
Greater than £500 but no more than £1000 £70 10% of the value of the sum recovered

If Court Proceedings are issued between £70-£80 depending on service of the Court papers (if more than one Defendant 15.00 extra per Defendant)

If Judgment is entered £22-£55 depending on the stage at which Judgment is entered

 

£TBC
Greater than £1000 but no more than £1500 £80 10% of the value of the sum recovered

If Court Proceedings are issued between £80-£90 depending on service of the Court papers (if more than one Defendant £15 extra per Defendant)

If Judgment is entered £22-£55 depending on the stage at which Judgment is entered

 

£TBC
Greater than £1500 but no more than £3000 £115 10% of the value of the sum recovered

If Court Proceedings are issued between £80-£90 depending on service of the Court papers (if more than one Defendant £15 extra per Defendant)

If Judgment is entered £22-£55 depending on the stage at which Judgment is entered

 

£TBC
Greater than £3,000 but no more than £5,000 £205 5% of the value of the sum recovered

If Court Proceedings are issued between £80-£90 depending on service of the Court papers (if more than one Defendant £15 extra per Defendant)

If Judgment is entered £22-£55 depending on the stage at which Judgment is entered

 

£TBC
Greater than £5,000 but no more than £10,000 £455 3% of the value of the sum recovered

If Court Proceedings are issued between £100-£110 depending on service of the Court papers (if more than one Defendant £15 extra per Defendant)

If Judgment is entered £30-£70 depending on the stage at which Judgment is entered

 

£TBC
£10,001 – £100,000 5% value of the claim 2% of the value of the sum recovered
If Court Proceedings are issued £500- £750 depending upon the complexities of the claim
If Judgment is entered £30-£70 depending on the stage at which Judgment is entered
£TBC

 

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:
  • The above figures do not include VAT and we add VAT and disbursements to our fees. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as Counsel Fee, travel and postage to be agreed in advance.
  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
  • The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.

 

Our fee includes:
  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation.
  • Undertaking appropriate searches.
  • Sending a letter before action.
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing the claim.
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter judgement in default.
  • When Judgement in default in received (which means you have had judgment made in your favour because the debtor has not responded), write to the other side to request payment.
  • If payment is not received within the timeframe afforded by the Court, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs.

If you are a member of our BACKup scheme, you may be entitled to a discount on our hourly rates. Please enquire if you are interested in joining.

 

Key stages

The key stages of the process depend on what type of action you choose to take.  Below outlines the typical stages of us trying recover an undisputed debt where the debtor does not respond, which is a fairly common occurence.

  • Letter Before Action is issued to the other side stating they have 7 days to respond (assuming business to business) or pay.
  • If the other side do not respond or payment of outstanding debt remains outstanding a further letter will be sent providing an additional 7 days to pay, with the threat of Court Proceedings.
  • If the debt remains outstanding a claim will be issued with the Court requesting that the Court serve a copy of the claim form on the defendant.
  • It will typically take the court 7 – 21 days to issue the claim and send to the defendant.
  • The defendant will be given 14 days to defend the claim/acknowledge service of the proceedings.
  • If the defendant fails to defend or acknowledge service of the claim within the prescribed time frame, then an application will be made for judgment against them requesting interest and fixed costs.
  • It will typically take the Court 7 – 21 days to provide judgment in default (which is judgement made in the claimant’s favour as the defendant has failed to respond).
  • The defendant will then have 30 days from the date of judgment to satisfy the outstanding judgment (unless a lesser time period is defined by the Court).

In the event that judgment is not paid then we will contact you to discuss the enforcement options.

How long will my matter take?

Matters usually take between 3-12 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default. Timescales are subject to change dependent on the level of response received from the defendant and the time taken by the Court to deal with correspondence.  If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

 

Experience and qualifications of those who will carry out the work

Our team has over 30 years of collective experience in advising on commercial disputes, including debt recovery.

We have five members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Steven Meyerhoff, Director of Backhouse Jones and head of the Commercial Litigation and Employment Department.

 

Steven Meyerhoff

Steven is a Director at Backhouse Jones and head of the Commercial Litigation and Employment team at Backhouse Jones. Steven qualified as a Solicitor in 2005 having completed his training contract at Backhouse Jones. He attended Liverpool John Moores University where he was awarded his Bachelors Degree in Maritime Business and Management with First Class Honours. He then attended the College of Law where he was awarded his Graduate Diploma of Law in Legal Practice and completed the Legal Practice Course in 2003.

Steven has been a Solicitor at Backhouse Jones for 13 years, acting for clients in both an Employment and Commercial Litigation capacity. He is currently the lead Solicitor in the RHA’s Truck Cartel Legal Action which has been issued in the Competition Appeal Tribunal “CAT”. If granted, this will be the first action of its kind within the UK. Steven is also responsible for the supervision and development of the Trainees within the department

 

James Lomax

James qualified as a Solicitor in 2010 having completed his training at Backhouse Jones. He attended Leeds Metropolitan University where he was awarded his BA Hons in Law and IT. He completed his Legal Practice Course at the University of Central Lancashire in 2008

James has been a Solicitor at Backhouse Jones for 8 years, acting for clients in both an Employment and Commercial Litigation capacity. He is currently assisting in the RHA’s Truck Cartel Legal Action which has been issued in the Competition Appeal Tribunal “CAT”.

 

Libby Pritchard

Libby qualified as a Solicitor in 2012 and joined Backhouse Jones in 2015 as a member of the Commercial Litigation Team, specialising in Commercial Litigation.

Libby’s litigation experience spans 11 years as Libby worked as a fee earner whilst studying for the Legal Practice Course.

Libby covers a broad range of commercial disputes ranging from sales of goods, debt recovery, disputes with insurers due to refusal to indemnify, HM Revenue & Customs disputes, professional negligence claims and high value recoveries.

 

Kelly Heyworth

Kelly is a qualified solicitor with seven years of experience in litigation of all types.  She previously worked at another firm which specialises in road transport law.

 

DVSA & POLICE PROSECUTIONS

Road Traffic Offences (summary only)

We represent both operators and drivers in numerous different types on prosecutions before the Magistrates Court. These cases can be with regards to driving in commercial vehicles, vans or cars. The types of offence that we can help you defend in the Magistrates Court include:

  • Drink and drug driving.
  • Mobile phone use offences.
  • Driving without due care and attention.
  • Dangerous driving.
  • Failure to provide information.
  • Driving without, or otherwise than in accordance with, a driving licence.
  • No insurance.
  • Overloading offences.
  • Drivers’ hours and tachograph offences.
  • Insecure load offences.
  • Dangerous condition of vehicle offences.
  • Construction and use offences.

What will it cost?

When we represent you in the Magistrates court, we will often look to agree a fee with you. However, this fee can vary, depending on whether you plead ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’, the number of allegations that you face and the amount of evidence and witnesses involved.

Cases before the Magistrates Court are often concluded at the first hearing. This is when you attend court and plead guilty. If we have not agreed a fixed fee with you, our average costs for dealing with such a hearing – based on our senior solicitors’ standard charging rate of £350 per hour and within one hour’s travel from our office – is £1,216 plus VAT and travel disbursements. The cost of travel will be either the direct cost, such as a train fare, or if driving, a mileage charge (currently charged at 45p per mile plus VAT).

This fee includes:
  • 1 hours attendance/preparation:
    • Considering evidence.
    • Taking your instructions.
    • Providing advice on likely sentence.
  • Attendance and representation at a single hearing where the travel to and from court is no longer than two hours and the Magistrates Court lasts no more than 1 hour
The fee does not include:
  • Instruction of any expert witnesses.
  • Taking statements from any witnesses.
  • Advice and assistance in relation to a special reasons hearing.
  • Advice or assistance in relation to any appeal.

 

Key stages

The key stages of work in your matter and covered by the fee (based on the presumption that you have entered a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing) are as follows:

  • Meeting or talking with you on the telephone so that you can give your solicitor instructions on what happened.
  • Backhouse Jones considering the initial prosecution disclosure, and any other evidence and providing advice.
  • We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court.
  • We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if necessary and answer any follow up queries you have.
  • We will attend court on the day and meet with you before going before the Magistrates.
  • We will discuss the outcome with you. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost.

If additional work is required, and if we have not agreed a fixed fee with you, the extra work will be charged at our standard hourly rates. These range from £300 per hour to £350 per hour depending on the level of seniority of the solicitor involved. VAT should also be added to these rates.

If additional expertise is required, such as instructing an independent expert for accident reconstruction purposes, a vehicle examination or independent tachograph analysis, further charges will also be applicable. These will be the costs charged by that expert to us. We will discuss these in detail with you before we instruct anybody to carry out this additional work.

VAT will be charged at the current applicable rate. At the current time, this is 20%.

If you are a member of our BACKup scheme, you may be entitled to a discount on our costs including on our hourly rates.  Please enquire if you are interested in becoming a member.

 

Experience and qualifications of those who will carry out the work

Our regulatory team, dealing with Magistrates Court prosecutions is made up of eight solicitors (with between 8 and 40 years post qualification experience). The team is supervised by Mark Davies who is the head of the team.

In the main, you are likely to be represented by:

Mark Davies

Mark Davies is a director and solicitor at Backhouse Jones.  He qualified in 2006 and specialises in road transport law covering goods and passenger carriage.  His extensive experience involves dealing with Public Inquiries concerning matters such as maintenance, drivers’ hours, bus reliability and environmental objections in addition to serious transport related crime, for instance, Crown Court cases involving causing death by dangerous driving, manslaughter and health and safety prosecutions.  Other types of road transport cases which Mark typically deals with include Inquests, police interviews evolving out of road traffic investigations or serious road traffic accidents.

Mark also provides advice to assist clients with compliance within the regulatory framework of operators licensing including advice regarding business structure.  He is also head of Backhouse Jones’ road transport regulatory team.

 

John Heaton

John Heaton is a solicitor at Backhouse Jones who qualified in 1981. John specialises in road transport law (both prosecuting and defending), Magistrates Court and Crown Court advocacy, regulatory work before the Traffic Commissioners.  He has been involved in many cases that have helped changed the way that the law is interpreted including Bird v Vehicle Inspectorate, case C235/94; Mahmood v Vehicle Inspectorate, 1988 (18WRTLB163, DC); Birkett & Naylor v Vehicle Inspectorate, (1998) RTR 264.

John writes articles and publications in legal journals and textbook on road transport and criminal law, and lectures and gives seminars in these areas.

 

Andrew Woolfall

Andrew is a director of Backhouse Jones. He qualified as a solicitor in 1993 and has been specialising in transport law since 1995. In 2011 he qualified as a Higher Courts Advocate in criminal proceedings.

Andrew specialises in representing clients in the Magistrates and Crown Courts as well as at Public Inquiries.  He has also been involved in cases before the High Court and the House of Lords.  He has acted for companies and individuals in relation to drugs and smuggling seizures on the continent and provides consultancy advice to companies on their internal systems for compliance with road transport law and operators licensing requirements.  Andrew regularly writes articles for the transport press.