TRIBUNAL CASES COULD REBOUND; Legal & Professional in Association with Lawyers Getting to Grips with New Fees

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), May 29, 2014 | Go to article overview

TRIBUNAL CASES COULD REBOUND; Legal & Professional in Association with Lawyers Getting to Grips with New Fees


Byline: BILL GLEESON Business Reporter @BillGleeson1

AS NEWS emerged last week that trade union Unison had won the right to mount a legal challenge against the introduction of employment tribunal fees, one Merseyside-based employment law specialist says the number of tribunal cases could be about to bounce back anyway after last year's massive dip.

Unison has so far been unsuccessful in its legal challenge against the Coalition Government's decision to levy a PS250 fee on all tribunal cases in a bid to reduce the number of vexatious claims.

Last year, the High Court refused to listen to the union's claim that the fees were an unlawful obstacle to justice for people treated unfairly by their employers. However, last week, the union won the right to appeal.

The number of tribunal cases has fallen by 78% in the months following the introduction of the fees last summer. Another change, requiring all claimants to attempt to settle their claims using ACAS's conciliation service could further reduce the number of tribunal cases.

Now a local employment lawyer says that the number of cases could rise again after employment law firms and legal insurers get to grips with the changes.

Philip Bramhall, who runs his own practice, Wirral-based Bramhalls, said: "At the beginning of the recent recession, many commercial law firms concentrated on growing their employment teams because employment law is regarded as counter cyclical as recession often leads to redundancies, reorganisations and conflict in the workplace. …

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