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When another person or organisation has broken the contract between you to provide the goods or services in return for payment, you may have grounds for compensation or redress.

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Our specialist Litigation team are on hand to help you with any queries you may have.

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Our expert solicitors are here to support you with advice, outlining your options at the very first stages to ensure all possible objectives are reached.

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The Litigation team at Poole Alcock will advise you on the best route to take, depending on your tenancy agreement.

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At Poole Alcock we understand that you want to resolve any dispute cost-effectively and maintain good relations where possible.

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A company’s articles of association are of paramount importance; they are the key constitutional document setting out the basic management and administrative structure of a company.

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Forming a company can be a positive and exciting step for many business owners. However, it is important to ensure from the outset that the documents governing your company’s operations suit your business needs.

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Acquisition of another company is an effective way to grow your business. Ensuring a successful transaction is all about the detail. You need to know exactly what you are buying.

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When the time comes to sell your company, or shares in your business, you will wish to maximise the return on your investment of money, hard work, time and emotion.

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A guarantee is a legal commitment to repay a debt where the original borrower has defaulted on their repayments. In essence, the person providing the guarantee will “step into the shoes” of the debtor.

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Whether you are lending to or borrowing from a third party, it is always prudent to record the terms of the loan clearly.

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A company’s articles of association are of paramount importance; they are the key constitutional document setting out the basic management and administrative structure of a company.

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If you are in dispute about which school your child should attend or think that it will be in the child’s best interests to change schools it will be necessary to apply for a Specific Issue Order through the courts.

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If your child is aged under 16, it is possible to change their name by deed poll providing that all of the parties with Parental Responsibility are in agreement. However, the child’s birth certificate will not normally be changed as this is a historical record from when the child was born.

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When a child is removed from one of the parents without the other parent’s permission or a child is not returned at a pre-arranged time, it is important to act quickly to reinstate the child’s normal or pre-agreed routine.

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Whenever possible separating parties should speak to one another and make arrangements for the care of the children which are in the children’s best interests and can be worked around by both parents.

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Most of the legal rights given to parents are by way of Parental Responsibility (PR). PR means ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property by law’.

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You can apply to end or dissolve your civil partnership if you have been in the partnership for at least one year. It is very similar to divorce, in that you will need to make an application to the court.

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When parties separate they may be able to reach an amicable agreement about the finances of the household and how these should be divided going forward. However, for most this can be the most difficult area to resolve.

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We can provide you with the peace of mind of conducting your divorce on a fixed fee basis. We will be able to provide you with the figure at the outset, allowing you to budget and plan your finances in advance.

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We are proud to be chosen by Cheshire Police Federation as their nominated divorce lawyers to provide specialist divorce and family advice to its members.

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A pre-nuptial/pre-civil agreement is a legal agreement made between two individuals before their marriage has taken place. It usually sets out how the couple wish their assets to be divided between them.

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A separation agreement is a written agreement used when a couple want to stop living together. The agreement can be used to decide a variety of topics including, who will pay the mortgage.

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Under the Equality Act 2010 harassment is defined as unwanted conduct which is related to either; age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation and is therefore unlawful.

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Unfair dismissal is a complex area of employment law and one where you need a legal expert to safeguard your financial interests as well as your professional future.

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It can be hard to realise that you may have been a victim of workplace discrimination. Discrimination is based upon what are called Protected Characteristics.

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Under the Equality Act there are 9 specific areas which are called protected characteristics; any discrimination against workers because of these characteristics would be unlawful.

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It is important that businesses handle the termination of a director’s contract appropriately, especially if you need to achieve a swift exit without disrupting the operation of the business.

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Employers should enter into a period of consultation with their employees, giving them information on why the redundancies are necessary and if there are any alternatives available.

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Has your employer discussed ending your employment through redundancy or with a settlement agreement/compromise agreement?

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There will be times when an employee’s conduct or performance falls short of what is expected of them in their contract of employment, or they believe that they have been treated unfairly at work.

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The TUPE Regulations are in place to preserve employees’ rights when a business is transferred to a new employer. The Regulations can apply to organisations of all sizes when a business is sold.

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From the recruitment process, through to issues such as TUPE, training from expert employment solicitors can help you to use the law as a positive framework to implement the best employment practices.

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A written contract of employment is a legal requirement as part of the employment relationship and failure to provide one can leave both parties unclear about their rights and responsibilities.

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Settlement agreements, which used to be called compromise agreements, can play an important part in ending an employment relationship, but there are some important legal safeguards.

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Severing ties with a director or senior executive comes with countless decisions about how to protect your business.

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Whether it is direct or indirect discrimination, a case of harassment, or failure to promote diversity, the Equality Act makes discrimination unacceptable in the workplace.

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It is easy for important steps to be missed during a staff crisis however, each vital step may be a legal requirement. An omission that could have a serious impact upon your business.

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Employers should enter into a period of consultation with their employees, giving them information on why the redundancies are necessary and if there are any alternatives available.

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Whilst it is better to try to resolve a dispute directly with an employee, there will be times when it simply is not possible. In those cases, you may be called before an employment tribunal.

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As an employer you have to be cautious with how you deal with dismissals in order to not be accused of an unfair dismissal.

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Failure to comply with employment legislation can be devastating for a business. Compensation awards for unfair dismissal claims can be in excess of £75,000 and awards for discrimination are unlimited.

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Our team has extensive experience of settling claims arising from a wide variety of accidents and injuries suffered in the workplace.

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Whilst a trip to the beauty salon may conjure up images of relaxation and pampering, many services use potentially harmful chemicals and machinery.

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Poole Alcock have a number of keen cyclists who commute to work and enjoy cycling as a hobby or as a competitive sport. We therefore understand the frustration that can occur.

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Every employer should ensure that the exposure of his employees to substances hazardous to health is either prevented or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled.

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The loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult situations in life we have to face, and the thought of bringing a claim for compensation at this time is a difficult one.

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An employer has a duty to eliminate or reduce exposure to vibration to as low a level as is reasonably practicable. In doing so, the employer should have assessed any risks in the task concerned.

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Suffering a head injury is understandably concerning for the victim and their family. It is important to investigate any potential brain injury that may have been caused.

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Tinnitus is any noise (for example, buzzing or ringing) in the ear and can be caused by exposure to excessive levels of noise, although there are other causes too.

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It is logical to think that if you are constantly carrying out the same physical task at work, such as lifting heavy boxes without a break, you may well develop a bad back.

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Common causes of road traffic accidents include other road users, poorly maintained roads, obstructions in the road and slippery surfaces. You may have suffered an injury.

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Accidents can happen at any time and in any place – in the street, at work, at the supermarket. If you think that another person or organisation was responsible for your accident then you may be entitled to compensation.

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Suffering a spinal cord injury can be a life-changing event, impacting on almost every aspect of your life. If the accident was not your fault, then financial compensation is often necessary.

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Representation at Employment Tribunals

Our specialist employment lawyers are on hand to help you every step of the way through Employment Tribunal proceedings.

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Employment Tribunals

Whilst it is better to try to resolve a dispute directly with an employer, there will be times when it simply is not possible. In those cases, you may be called before an employment tribunal. You may feel that the balance of power is weighted to heavily on their side and that you have no other option but to start legal proceedings. With Poole Alcock on your side you do not have to face it alone.

Our specialist employment solicitors will guide you through the process, outlining the choices available and recommending the best route for your case. If you do need to go a tribunal, we will guide you through the work of the tribunal panel, ensure you are fully prepared and help you achieve the best outcome for you from the panel’s legally binding decision.

At Poole Alcock we have all the experience you need to provide clear, informed advice. We can prepare for a tribunal, leaving you free to maintain your commercial focus and ensure you are fairly represented.

Fees for Representation

Hourly rate work is carried out at a rate of £250 + VAT per hour. Alternatively fixed fee retainers can be agreed with you at the following rates:

STAGE 1:-  Initial Advice

Initial Meeting

In order to assess whether there is value in your claim it is important to have an initial face to face meeting.

It is useful to have all of the relevant documents ready for this meeting.

During this meeting your potential case will be considered.  If it is deemed that it is not worth pursuing your case you will be informed at this stage.

It is essential that your funding options are considered at the outset.  It may be that you have Legal Expenses Insurance (“LEI”) or be a member of a Trade Union.  These organisations may agree to cover your case if you meet certain criteria.

In most cases, if you do have cover through LEI or a Trade Union, they will allow Poole Alcock to represent you.

£500.00+ VAT


STAGE 1.2:- Preparation of Statement
 

If it is decided that there is a value in you proceeding  it is important that a statement is prepared.

The statement will detail the chronology and issues you experienced.

£500.00 +VAT


STAGE 2: LEI and Trade Union funding application
 

This section only applies if you have a relevant LEI policy or are a member of a Trade Union.

The process of dealing with the Insurer or Trade Union isn’t always straight forward.  The table below represents the costs for handling this process.  In order to stand the best chance of your Insurer covering your case it is important that the case is properly explained to the decision maker at the Insurance company or Trade Union.

Please note:- Employment Tribunal Proceedings have very strict time limits.  It may be that your case has to be issued before a decision has been made by the Insurer or Trade Union.  In these cases the Insurer is unlikely to refund any of the fees incurred before they make a decision.

Instructing a Barrister to prepare “Advice on Prospects”

£350 +VAT


STAGE 3:    Settlement Negotiations
 

If you do not have LEI or a Trade Union covering your fees the next stage is to explore whether the Employer will consider agreeing a financial settlement with you.  If negotiations are successful a Settlement Agreement would be prepared (at no additional charge).

The following stages apply:-

Without Prejudice Letter                             

This is a letter which is sent to your Employer before ACAS early conciliation.  The objective is to describe your case and to seek a compensation payment.  If this is not successful the next stage is to proceed to Early Conciliation.

£500.00 + VAT

Early Conciliation ACAS               

Before proceedings can be issued in the Employment Tribunals you must comply with Early Conciliation.  This involves submitting an “Early Conciliation Notification”, speaking with ACAS and then seeking to negotiate.  If this is not successful the next stage is to consider issuing the claim at the Employment Tribunal.

£1000.00 + VAT


STAGE 4:    Issuing an Employment Tribunal Claim

If the Employer does not wish to consider a financial settlement and you wish to continue with the dispute the next stage is to issue an Employment Tribunal claim. (“ET1”).

Preparation of ET1 claim form

The “ET1” is the document which sets out the details of your claim against the Employer.  It is important that the claims is properly argued and includes all relevant details.

It is preferential to have a meeting and work on this document face to face.  However arrangements can also be made to deal with this on the phone or via email.

£1000.00 + VAT

Review of ET3 Response

The “ET3” is the formal response to your claim.  It is always useful to spend time going through the response to see if there any issues which need to be addressed at an early stage.

£250.00 + VAT


STAGE 5:-  Employment Tribunal Preliminary Hearings

The purpose of Preliminary Hearings is for the Tribunal to decide upon a timetable for the various activities leading up to a Trial.

Not all cases require a preliminary hearing or case management hearings and it may be that the Tribunal proceeds immediately to Stage 6.

Preparation for Preliminary Hearing

This would involve preparing an Agenda for the hearing which itemises the issues to be considered and what evidence will be relied upon.

£500.00 + VAT

Barrister’s  Attendance fees

  1. Telephone Hearing

£350 p+ VAT

  1. In person

£500 + VAT

In some cases the Tribunal may agree for the hearing to be dealt with over the phone in order to save time and costs.  However, this is a decision for the Tribunal and in many cases the Tribunal judge prefers the parties to attend in person.

Additional Case Management Hearings

Usually there will be no need for additional hearings before the Trial, however, this can happen if there are applications made by either side.  Fees would be quoted at the time.

£300 + VAT


STAGE 6:-  Employment Tribunal Directions

“Directions” are a list of activities which parties in an Employment Tribunal must carry out before a Trial.  A failure to complete the activity by the set date may result in the claim being dismissed.  The Tribunal can set directions on their own initiative or following a preliminary hearing which is mentioned below.  These are the most common Directions:-

Preparation of Medical Evidence in relation to disability

In cases in which an Employee is claiming that they have a disability the Tribunal, in most cases, asks for medical proof of the disability at an early stage.  We would need to review your medical records and select which documents should be submitted,

£250.00 + VAT

Preparation of a Disability Impact Statement

When disability discrimination is claimed, in most cases, the Tribunal orders you to prepare a statement which deals with how your disability affects your daily activities.  It is important that this document is prepared in the correct way.

£500.00 + VAT

List of Documents

The Tribunal will order that both sides (Employee and Employer) to provide a list of all documents in their possession which are relevant to the case.  We would need to meet and go through all of the documentary evidence and submit a list to the Tribunal and the Employer.

£500.00 + VAT

Witness Statements

Further work would be required upon your initial statement.

Witness Statements are a very important part of Tribunal proceedings.   In the Tribunals you are usually expected to read out your statement and so it must be a very precise account of everything that happened.

It is preferable to meet in person to compile the statement but alternative arrangements can be made.

£750.00 + VAT

(per statement)

Schedule of Loss

In this document we would prepare all of your relevant financial losses.  This must be compiled in a specific way.

We would also need to consider “evidence of mitigation”.  These are details of attempts that you have made to find another job.  It is a requirement that, when able, a Claimant should seek alternative work after being dismissed (or constructive dismissal)

£500.00 + VAT

List of Issues

Employment Tribunal judges often order that the parties must prepare a list of the issues to be decided at Tribunal.  This is designed to streamline the issues that are being considered in order to save Tribunal time.  It is important that this document refers to the correct legal issues.

There is usually no requirement for your involvement in this activity.

£500.00 +VAT

Preparation of Trial Bundle

“The Trial Bundle” is the folder of documents which are required for the Trial.  There must be sufficient copies for all parties, including the Tribunal panel and the documents must be organised in a specific way.

It is more common for the Employer to be asked to prepare the “Trial Bundle” in which case there will be no cost to you.

The costs have been stated in the event that the Tribunal directs you to prepare the Trial Bundle.

£500.00 + VAT


STAGE 7:-  Employment Tribunal Final Hearing “Trial”

The length of the Trial will depend upon the number of witnesses, amount of documentation and the complexity of the issues.

Preparation for Trial

It is very important that everything is properly organised and prepared in advance of the Trial.  This involves reviewing the information and instructing a Barrister to represent you.

Sometimes a Barrister may decide that they require a meeting with you before the Trial to discuss any issues and review the evidence.

£1,500 + VAT

Counsel’s fees per day

Hearings listed for a full day                    £1,250 + VAT

Hearings listed for 2 days                         £3,000 + VAT

Hearings listed for 3 days                         £3,500 + VAT

 

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