Unfair dismissal No Win-No fee, What’s it mean?
No win no fee is a bit misleading. I’ts a saying coined by Slater and Gordon a large law firm many years a ago. It it really stands for no settlement no fee. 99 percent of cases lodged in Australia, resolve / settle somewhere along the claims journey through the courts, commission and tribunals. The no win no fee industry is really focused now in class actions and personal injury. Thats where the bigger dollars are. Now thats fine, but what about the smaller claims. Claims of unfair dismissal, general protections or disability discrimination. In a way the justice system has to be equal for all. Not just driven by the consideration of how much money in fees can be generated.
Disbursements and other pary cost
We aware of ‘disbursements’. In other words out of pocket expenses. These include the cost of court filing fees, expert reports or barrister’s fees that are part of your case. These fees can be substanial Your lawyer must include an estimate of these costs in your agreement if you need to pay them. If you don’t win the legal case, you may still need to pay part of the other party’s legal costs. Ask your lawyer how much money this could cost you if the legal case goes to Court and you don’t win.
Generally paid agents and other representatives proceed on a fixed percentage or fixed success fee. Make sure all this is in writing.
The James Ashby case
Unfair dismissal No win-no fee, I suppose Mr Ashby wished he has that arrangement. James Ashby, a former political staffer to former speaker Peter Slipper,(the speaker in parliament) commenced legal action in 2012 against Mr Slipper by alleging he was sexually harassed. That the politician misused parliamentary entitlements.
The original case against Mr Slipper was eventually withdrawn (my assumption was the lawyers for Mr Ashby assumed the claim would settle, however it didn’t). In turn Mr Ashby sought an ‘act of grace’ payment in 2018 from the Commonwealth. This was to cover his legal fees amounting to $4,537,000, incurred from the withdrawn case. The request was refused by the delegate of the Finance Minister. As it was decided there were no special circumstances in Ashby’s case to warrant the payment.
Different to the American system
The Australian court system is designed to protect itself against vexatious litigant’s. Very different to the American system where anyone can litigate freely and in most cases protected against cost. Meaning that litigants who wish to bring proceedings in a Commonwealth court will carry the burden of the risk of legal costs. Generally, if you lose your case in a Commonwealth court, you will not only have to pay your own lawyers’ fees but the other side’s legal fees also. This is designed to maintain the integrity of Australian courts, to save resources. To save time of esteemed justices and more.
Commenced court proceeding
Mr. Ashby commenced court proceedings by choice. When there were more economical and lower risk options available to him, such as entering into settlement discussions or a lower jurisdiction. ie the Fair work Commission, NCAT, Administrative Tribunal amongst others
Took the risk
Thus, Mr. Ashby took on the risk in relation to costs, which resulted in a fee of $4.5m. Did Mr. Ashby expect to incur so much in fees? We do not know, but $4.5m is definitely not an amount that any average Australian can afford. There are exceedingly few court decisions anywhere in Australia what have awarded anywhere near this amount incurred in legal fees for this type of claim.
A note: Cardinal George Pell spent $3 million proving he was not guilty, justice is expensive in this country. This all supports the increasingly used option of no win, no fee. You believe you have been unfairly dismissed, unlawfully terminated by your employer and you are now without a job. Then excessive and unexpected legal fees is the last thing you want to worry about.
No Win-No fee.
However, the alternative to court proceedings, which may seem daunting to the lay person who may face huge legal fees, is getting representation from us – A Whole New Approach. (note we are not lawyers). We offer two payment options to all our clients, the ‘No Win No Fee’ option or a fixed fee option. With the help of our clear and certain payment options, you will be able to fight your case confidently. Without the fear of not knowing how much legal / representation fees you will rack up by the end.
We know that you may feel insignificant and at a significant disadvantage against your employer. Who you think has more money than you to cover legal costs, but with our support and work, you will be well and fairly represented – at a respectable cost!
Whether you use our services or anybody else you need to know, the best you can, what your in for. Get a fixed fee or success percentage. You need to know that you are going to get something thing out of your claim. Or achieve your goal, whatever that may be. Be aware we only work in areas that allow for non lawyers to represent. Fair work Australia (FWC), various state and federal tribunals. If you want to go to court, we have a good referral system you can access.
Our ‘No Win No Fee’ option includes an administration fee that will cover the filing fees and any other relevant disbursements. Then if and only when we are successful in obtaining a settlement on your behalf, we will be paid a lesser proportion of the settlement than yourself. This payment structure is to ensure that our interests align and so we are fighting for the same goal in the end. To get the best settlement for you as we also have ‘skin in the game’.
The other option is the fixed fee option. Unlike Mr Ashby who was required to pay $4.5m in fees, you will know exactly how much you have paid to us for the work and know that you will not need to pay a cent more. Upon initial consultation, we will quote you a fixed fee if you wish to weigh the benefits of both options.
Unfair dismissal No Win-No fee
The unfair dismissal No Win-No fee article I hope has given you a improved prospective. Fees and charges in the Fair work Commission and other tribunals is a world of its own. It makes a phone plans look simple. you have to balance up the known fees, against the unknown. Get whatever the arrangement is, from whoever it is in writing. Don’t sign up to pages and pages of paperwork without reading it. Look at the experience of who’s going to look after you.
Call us on 1800 333 666 for a free consultation and also a quote on which fee option will be the most appropriate for your circumstances.
Conclusion to Unfair dismissal No Win-No fee
We are the nations leading workplace advisors, fiercely independent, honest, prompt, and we keep it real, no BS here. We are Australia wide, NSW, Vic, Qld, Tas, SA, WA. Looking for a lawyer, give us a call, we are the alternative, explore your rights and fee options. Unfair dismissal claims, forced to resign, workplace investigations, abandonment of employment, workers rights. Anything to do with the workplace give us a call.