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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I am a consultant working under a Consultancy Agreement for

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I am a consultant working under a Consultancy Agreement for a UK company.My contract has an "additional fees" clause with "performance criteria".This criteria has been fully met and the company awknowledges this.However,because they have financial issues and did not pay performance awards to their internal senior executives,they are refusing to pay on the basis my contract "in spirit" was supposed to mirror the employment terms of these executives.My contract clearly states that "no employment conditions" exist.This company owes me £132k for 2012 and it is now 5 months overdue.My contract expires 31/10/2013 and at that point a further £110k will become due.
I have tried to resolve this,but they are refusing to recognise the contract wording and insist I should be treated like an employee.
I would like to know the process and costs for pursuing this through the legal process
Tim Haig

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

In order to pursue this matter through the courts, you would be expected to make a claim in the County Court. Usually you can make a claim for financial compensation online by using the MoneyClaim Online service, however the limit for this is £100,000 and as your claim is for more than that you would need to submit your claim in writing to the courts.


The fees you are required to pay will vary depending on the amount you are pursuing. For example, the claim fee for a claim between £100k - £150k is £885 and for claims between £150k and £200k it is £1,080. This is the fee you would need to pay to submit the claim and engage the courts.


After that there will be a fee to allocate your claim to the most appropriate track, which in your case will either be the fast track or the multi track and for either the fee is £220.


Then there is a pre-trial checklist fee of £110 and a hearing fee which is either £545 for the fast track, or £1,090 for the multi track. You can get a refund of the hearing fees if the claim is withdrawn or settled within a specified time before the hearing is due.


So this is a general outline of the fees you may be expected to pay. In addition, if you lose the claim the other party can make an application for costs against you which could require you to pay all or a proportion of their legal fees incurred in defending your claim.


Before you commence formal legal proceedings, I suggest you follow these steps:


  1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

  2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been unanswered, the other side needs to be sent a formal letter (preferably by recorded delivery) asking them to pay the money they owe within a specified period of time, usually 14 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do pay, legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the money owed. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action, which should be a last resort. It is therefore essential that it is sent.

  3. If they fail to pay as requested or do not make contact to at least try and come to some form of arrangement, this matter can be taken to the next stage and formal legal proceedings can commence. To make the claim you need to complete form N1 available on the Court Services website


Finally, it is also strongly advisable to keep copies of all correspondence in relation to this, in case it is needed at a later stage.



Ben-thanks.But it does not provide the costs for a legal expert to help(ie the letter before action coming from a lawyer and suitably worded.Regards

Ben Jones :

The costs of engaging a lawyer to assist with the claim can vary considerably, depending on who you use, how much time they spend on the case, the seniority of the people used, whether you will engage a barrister for the hearing, etc. Hourly rates for solicitors would be in the range of £13

Ben Jones :

£130 - £200 per hour, increasing to £200 - £400 for senior lawyers.

Ben Jones :

there will be standard charges for letters, depending on their length, we would usually charge in 6 minute blocks for drafting the letter so it would depend on how long the letters are on how much you would be charged for them

Ben Jones :

So as you can see your legal costs will very much depend on how much you decide to use your lawyer in the claim

Ben Jones :

For a full involvement you are easily looking at a few thousand but it is best to 'shop around' first and get quotes from solicitors to get a better idea as to what you may be expected to pay for your specific claim

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you