You have lots of different options when instructing us. We will even advise you on which one is best for you. Honestly and objectively.
Check whether you have legal expenses insurance (this might be on your home-contents-insurance policy)? If so, activate it and follow your insurer’s procedures. Alternatively, are you a member of a union that might offer access to a free lawyer? If so, speak to your union representative. Alternatively, do you want to try the Citizens’ Advice Bureau first?
Whatever option you choose, bear in mind that there are strict time limits that apply to making a claim. As such you should act immediately.
If you would like to instruct this firm, choose from the options above and we will explain how our charges work. We are also happy to work under any legal expenses insurance arrangement.
Where we are dealing with a compromise agreement, we make it our business to try and limit our costs to the amount offered by your employer by means of a contribution – wherever possible.
Where you choose a fixed fee option, you cap our fees to certain limits.
For litigation matters, we charge for each stage of the proceedings in advance. We also reserve the right to end the fixed fee arrangement at the end of any particular stage where it is apparent that the work involved in your case means that it is not appropriate to continue such an arrangement. We hope that this would be a rare occurrence but it might happen where:
If this situation does arise, we will warn you in advance. We will also complete the work we said that we would for that stage, for the fee we quoted. Thereafter, we will propose a new fixed fee arrangement or charge by reference to our hourly rates. We charge disbursements separately in any event, as set out below.
To move forward under a fixed fee arrangement, we need to set up an immediate meeting or a telephone conference. Before this takes place, we need a summary from you of exactly what has been going on. Please type this summary and e-mail this to us. Once you’ve done this, please gather all the documents which are relevant to your case. It really helps if you put these in date order. You need to get these to us as soon as possible. If you can scan the documents, please do so. Our first priority will be to assess what deadlines apply to your case and when the expire. We then need to work out what claims you have; get a draft claim form sorted out; and get your approval on that document. That’s just the start. You should also make yourself aware of what else is involved when we start litigating.
You are welcome to instruct us by reference to our hourly rate.
Under a “no win, no fee” agreement, your lawyer doesn’t charge you for the work done on your case on an hourly basis. Instead, you agree to allow your lawyer to keep a proportion of any compensation you receive as the fee for the work done on your case. At Blue Circle we charge you a third of the compensation (33%) that you receive as a result of settling your claim or as a result of winning your claim in Tribunal.
One third? Believe us, other firms demand a lot more. Let’s be frank here. You want us to take a big risk. You want us to do fight hard on your behalf and win your case. You want us to get the most compensation possible. You want us to agree that if you ever lost the case, we would just forget about 70-100 hours’ worth of work spread over a year. We know that even with the best preparation in the world, you might end up saying the wrong thing under pressure of cross-examination. We are therefore taking a big gamble on you personally. Further, you might find another job really quickly (which we can’t blame you for!) but which might end up slashing your potential compensation; and therefore the fees we would receive.
We’re taking risks. Therefore, we agree to take one third of the compensation you receive, whether this is at the beginning of the case, or the end of it – plus VAT. Photocopying and (economy) travel costs are extra; and sit outside the ‘no win no fee’ arrangement. We are very happy to invest our time in your case, but we’re not in a position to subsidise your expenses; or cushion you from your tax liability for VAT.
How do we go forward?
Well, we need to sign you up to a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement. We can then get a started. A summary of key terms can be found upon request. Please do think carefully before you consider signing up to the agreement. Please do also ask family and friends about whether it sounds like the right sort of deal for you.
If you think the case is really going to settle early, are you sure you’re not better off paying our hourly rates? Remember, once you’ve signed up to a no-win-no-fee agreement, it’s binding agreement. We will be entitled to one third of any monies you receive in return from that point onwards. We then need to set up an immediate meeting or a telephone conference. Before this takes place, we need a summary from you of exactly what has been going on. Please type this summary and e-mail this to us.
For more information the following lawyers will be able to help with What would it cost to run?.