Thank you for expressing your interest in our services as Polish lawyers, legal consultants or your Employment Tribunal Advocates.
Please find below some information to consider before you decide to sign any agreements with us or instruct us to render any services to you.
I am very pleased to inform you that we have excellent track record and most of our client’s claims (over 85%!) that end up in Employment Tribunal are successful or reach a settlement. This applies only to the claims where the status of an employee was undisputed and when we were instructed before the deadline for submitting the claim passed.
Your Employment Tribunal Advocate
I will be responsible for the daily conduct of your case. Although I am not a solicitor nor a barrister, I am legally qualified having completed Masters Degree in Law at Jagiellonian University (2.1) as well as Graduate Diploma in Law (Commendation), Bachelors Degree in Law (LLB 2.1) and Professional Diploma in Legal Practice (Distinction) at Nottingham Law School.
I have several years of experience in successfully acting as an advocate in Employment Tribunals in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, including representation at final hearings. I have dealt with varied caseload, including disability and sex discrimination and harassment claims that required my attendance as advocate during final hearings lasting for more than a week.
I also have successfully negotiated settlement agreements during Judicial Mediation conducted by senior Employment Judges as well as via ACAS or by communicating directly with our opponents
Decisive majority of the claims where we were instructed before their deadline passed were successfully concluded by Tribunal’s verdict in favour of our client or legally binding settlement agreement.
We co-operate closely with best barristers chambers in East Midlands and if your case requires representation or assistance by such specialist lawyer we would be happy to arrange that.
Alternatives to instructing us
We would gladly represent you and will do so in a professional and effective manner.
My firm is, however, obliged by the Regulator to point out that you may well have alternatives to appointing our firm (or any other claims management practitioner) to handle your case. Depending on your individual circumstances and the nature of your case, you may have a number of the following options open to you. In any event, you are strongly invited to make your own enquiries and assess your options before you make an informed decision to instruct us.
The alternatives are as follows (this list should not be taken to be exhaustive):
• Please note that ACAS – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) offers dispute resolution services in regard to actual and potential claims. You may rely on their assistance without a need to assist us.
• You may also be eligible to some pro-bono representation, for example via Free Representation Unit. I personally handled my first cases as a pro-bono Free Representation Unit representative and in some circumstances their services may be worth consideration.
• You may wish to handle your case as a “litigant in person”. (There is no legal requirement to be professionally represented at employment tribunal hearings.)
• Provided you meet its means-test, you may be entitled to some help from the Legal Services Commission (LSC) (formerly Legal Aid) with regard to the preparation of your case – although the LSC, to my best but completely untested knowledge, does not currently fund the cost of tribunal advocacy at the hearing so you are invited to make your own enquiries.
• You may want to instruct a solicitor or a direct access barrister specializing in employment law on a fee-paying basis for part or all of your case. (Some solicitors may also offer contingency fee arrangements, often described as “no win, no fee” agreements.)
• You may be able to get assistance (ie case preparation and/or tribunal advocacy) free of charge from your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) although, as a former CAB volunteer I may confirm that not all CABs offer this service.
• If you are a member of a Trade Union, it may be willing to provide you with advice and/or representation, but your TU may want to seek a legal opinion before committing itself to assisting you. This is often the most cost effective way of being legally represented.
• If your case falls within one of the various categories of discrimination ( ie gender, race, etc), then the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) may be willing to advise or assist you with your case.
• If you have a household insurance policy, this may potentially cover you for advice/representation in employment tribunal proceedings, although your insurance company’s legal advisors will need to be convinced that you have a strong case before your insurers will agree to support you. If you are turned down by your insurers on the basis that there is insufficient merit to your claim, and if you then instruct someone else on a fee-paying or “no-win, no-fee” basis, and you subsequently win your case, it would certainly then be worth taking a further claim to your insurers for the representation costs which you have incurred, on the basis that your insurers should have supported you initially – however, I cannot comment on the chances of success of such an application.
Details of the Regulatory Body
My firm, Mitchell Brown Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in Respect of the Claims Management Services. Address of our regulator: FCA Head Office. 12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN. More information can be found on https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_HomePage
Our complaints policy
We strive to provide our clients with the best service possible but if you are unhappy with the service provided you have a right to lodge a complaint.
You may complain about our services by any reasonable means, for example by sending us an email to email@example.com, via telephone, by letter or in person. We will acknowledge a complaint within five working days from the day we received it either by email or in writing.
This policy would be attached to the complaint along with the details of the person who would deal with the matter.
By the end of 8 weeks we will provide you with either:
1. A final response, or
2. Explanation that we are still not in a position to make a final response with reasons for the delay and indication when you should expect a final response.
You have a right to complain to Financial Ombudsman within six months of either a final decision or after the eight week period starting from the day you submitted the complaint.
Contact details of the Financial Ombudsman Service:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
Telephone: 0300 123 9 123
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm
Deadlines in Employment Tribunal claims are very short. You must act promptly if you think you may have a reason to complain.
In most circumstances a prospective claimant has only 3 months less one day from a day of the event he or she would like to complain about to lodge a Tribunal claim or to commence mandatory conciliation via ACAS.
There are exceptions but in most cases after that time a prospective claimant may be left without any recourse to legal system.
We would, of course, advise you on any deadlines applicable to your case if you instruct us to advise you on the matter but please be aware that time limits are short and you may have to act promptly.
Any legal advisor needs some time to prepare legal documents or to take instructions so please take that into account and don’t leave any matters for too long as eleventh hour instructions may and often will be declined. Preparing a claim form is a complex and time consuming process and my availability often severely limited due to my workload and the fact that I strife to provide the very best service to my existing clients.
Once we have an opportunity to briefly discuss your case I would be able to tell you what the English law says about your circumstances and what are your options. Please note that this interview would last for approximately 10-15 minutes and would not involve reading of extensive documentation – it’s purpose it to look at provide you with some very preliminary advice.
I would also inform you what other services my firm may be able to offer you and, if necessary, provide your with more detailed advice which would include familiarising with documents provided by you or draft appropriate letters or documents, including court applications, witness statements or particulars of claim.
In case of potential Employment Tribunal claims I would be able to accept instruction to act as your representative and advocate.
We normally charge by the hour and our hourly rate is £125. There are, however, many occasions where our fees are fixed and agreed in advance once we know what is required of us. Once you will explain in more detail what services you would like us to render to you we would be in a position to give you the estimated or fixed cost of such services. We each for each unit being each commenced 6 minutes of our work 1/10 of out hourly rate (£125).
Our first full conferences are usually based on fixed fees that cover our verbal advice. Written confirmation is charged separately.
Damage Based agreement (sometimes called no win, no fee/no win some fee) – selected Employment Tribunal claims only.
We would also discuss whether my firm would be in a position to represent you subject to a damage based agreement and inform you about its contents. In than case, we would charge you up to 35% of the compensation or settlement sum you receive but if we’re unsuccessful you wouldn’t have to pay us anything but our costs (such as travel and accommodation during hearings) and disbursements (eg. independent expert fees).
This would be mostly be the case if any grievance or appeal process is already completed and the only way forward would be to commence legal proceedings in Employment Tribunal.
The case would need to have at least some prospects of success and prospective compensation would have to ensure that we would cover our costs if we win.
Most of our client’s cases that reach Employment Tribunal are run subject to such agreement. We do often charge for initial advice and drafting a statement of case before we can proceed with a claim subject to Damages Based Agreement.
Please note that even in case of damage based agreement a client may be charged our full contractual rate hourly rate
We cannot, however, at this early stage advise you that this would be best option for you, or something feasible for my company.
Please note that we may establish a lien on any of your documents in our possession in case there are outstanding fees owed by you to my firm. You would have a right to inspect those documents under supervision at our Nottingham office by giving us reasonable notice (at least 1 week).
Cooling off period
You have 14 days from the date you instruct my firm to terminate the contract between us and to resign from any services by giving us a notice. This is called cooling- off period. You may used a cancellation form attached or simply call me or send us an email or letter.
Tomasz Gracka LLB(Hons), MA(Hons)Law, LPC, GDipLaw
Head of Employment at Mitchell Brown Law
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