Service Standards & Fees

TREATING CLIENTS FAIRLY POLICY

Policy statement

At People Legal Ltd we are fully committed to providing the highest standards of advice and service to our clients by working in partnership with them.

Our clients are our most valuable asset and our aim is to ensure that we deliver a client-friendly, robust, reliable and cost-effective legal service to them.

People Legal Ltd strives to build long-standing, trusted relationships with all of our clients. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and our Treating Clients Fairly Policy is designed to ensure that we consistently deliver fair outcomes to our clients; in line with the SRA’s Code of Conduct.

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all our dealings with clients, third parties and employees.

Our services

In delivering our commitment to Treat Clients Fairly, People Legal Ltd makes every effort to ensure that our clients are totally satisfied with the legal service they receive and we endeavour to:

  • make any and all possible accommodations for clients with individual needs so as that they are not at any disadvantage.
  • ensure that clients are able to read any documents sent to them that require their understanding. We facilitate this by proactively providing large type documents for our clients with visual impairment.
  • communicate with our clients in a way that they will understand, by using ‘plain’ and not ‘legalese’ language.
  • update our clients regularly on the progress of their matter, especially with updates as to costs, ensuring they understand any potential outlays or fees that may arise.
  • provide our clients with a high quality legal service by offering highly experienced lawyers who are experts in their particular area of work.
  • work with our clients in an empathetic and personable way, particularly when the matter is emotionally delicate.
  • operate our Complaints Handling Procedure in an open and fair way, whereby clients are aware of their right to complain to either the firm or Legal Ombudsmen.
  • ensure that a client or prospective client is treated in a non-discriminatory way that respects diversity.
  • be flexible in our approach, explore options and be open to new ideas.
  • inspire and empower our clients for whom we act.
  • provide practical solutions explained in straightforward language and ‘jargon free’,
  • be passionate about what we do and the clients that we serve.
  • work continually on how we can enhance and improve our services.
  • ensure timely responses and communication.
  • understand the importance of the client’s matter to them.
  • respect clients’ wishes and beliefs.

Our approach

Our priority is to provide our clients with an excellent service underpinned by the quality of our advice. We are committed to ensuring that our clients want to use our services, stay with us and recommend us to their families, friends and colleagues.

Our service is shaped by listening to our clients’ needs and understanding what is important to them. We take responsibility for meeting the needs of our clients and always look for way to improve the quality of our service. We operate a rigorous file review system as part of our internal audit procedures as well as regularly conducting client surveys to ensure that we consistently enhance the service levels for the client.

We recognise that our employees are critical to delivering a positive client experience and ensuring our clients are treated fairly. All of our employees are fully trained in dealing with our clients and in treating them fairly.

CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS

We seek to provide you with the higher standard of service, however if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided, then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact Chris McAvoy-Newns to discuss your concerns and he will do his best to resolve any issues at this stage. If, however, you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure policy. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves through our own complaint process. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint

and

  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was a cause for complaint

The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are:

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am and 5pm

Email: [email protected]

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about any aspect of our professional behaviours, which could include discriminating against you because of your age, disability or other characteristic or not accounting to you for monies provided to us for the conduct of your matter.

FEES

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

Simple case: £1,500-£4,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)

Medium complexity case: £3,000-£10,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)

High complexity case: £10,000-£50,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)

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 £1,000-1,500 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, on average, we would allow 2-3 days depending on the complexity of your case. For complex claims of whistleblowing or discrimination, involving multiple witnesses, the hearing could last several weeks. This will be discussed with you at the outset.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Counsel’s fees estimated between £1,000 to £10,000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate and the complexity of the case) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including what is preferred to as the “brief fee” which incorporates preparation time).

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 the witnesses;
  • Preparing bundle of documents for hearing;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list; and
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take between 1 and 12 weeks on average. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take at least six months and may take around or in excess of 18 months, depending upon the capacity in the Employment Tribunal and the complexity of your case. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.