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Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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An ex-employee is taking us to the small claims court, claiming

Resolved Question:

An ex-employee is taking us to the small claims court, claiming breach of contract in relation to an agreement, which in practice neither side fulfilled it's full responsibilities.

The claim is for £1000, however the employee is represented by a solicitor, and I suspect the bill is probably more than the money being claimed. So in practice it seems we will be fighting the solicitor, to clear their bill as opposed to the ex-employee, who will most likely end up with nothing.

Is this possible/ legal and is there any way to find out, since the solicitor has filed and signed the court claim form and I suspect it may be them attending court.

Indeed what are the chances of the small claims court also awarding awarding solicitors costs if we loose?

thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

It is very unlikely you will have to pay actual costs. The claimant can claim fixed costs of £50 but to get actual costs against you she would have to show you have behaved in a vexatious or unreasonable way. It applies to people who do things like run accounts that don't amount to a defence to trial. Even then, if there is a solicitor involved, the other side should have applied for summary judgment so costs would be minimal.

You cannot find out in advance how much her solicitors fees are unless she chooses to tell you. You might be able to find out during negotiations. They might tell you when you discuss an intention to apply for costs.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok thanks


 


It seems a bit odd if a case is only being brought to cover the solicitors costs (if my guess is correct) ?


 


Would this be taken into account in any way by a judge?


Also we offered to settle at £750, but this was rejected by the solicitor out of hand and I suspect not even referred to the claimant.


 


thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Its quite unlikely that happened. Solicitors should pass on any offer even if their advice is not to take it.

A Judge might express surprise if he finds a person represented for a very minor offence but it would not influence the decision probably.
Jo C., Barrister
Satisfied Customers: 64124
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
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