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AUGUST 2012 NEWSLETTER: Employment tribunal costs, unfair dismissal, property sales, LIBOR and more

Employment Tribunal Costs

The Government has now announced the new fee structure that will apply for Employment Tribunal claims. They have opted for a two tier system. Those claims that will be deemed First tier claims are straightforward cases such as claims for arrears of pay including claims for redundancy pay and notice pay. For first tier claims, there will be a charge of £160 to lodge a claim and a further £230 hearing fee payable when a hearing is assigned.

The second tier is for more complex cases for example unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. Second tier cases will incur a lodging fee of £250 and a hearing fee of £950.

Finally, there will also be a £400 fee for lodging an appeal at the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The hearing fee in that instance will be £1,200.

Details of any exemptions for those on low income are yet to be announced. Although no definite implementation date has yet been announced, it is expected that the fees will be effective in the summer of 2013. Whether the imposition of these fees will see a sharp decline in the number of Tribunal claims remains to be seen.

Further details can be found here:

Unfair Dismissal Qualifying Periods

From 6th April 2012, the qualifying period for bringing a claim for Unfair Dismissal increased from one to two years. For employees who began their employment on or before 5th April 2012, the one year period will apply. Particular care should be taken by employers who may have taken on a number of employees at the beginning of April 2012. For example, an employer who hired 10 employees over a one week period with some employees being hired before 6th April 2012 and some on or after this date. This may mean that employers have employees on different qualifying periods even although they started within a short time of each other. 

More details can be found here:

Property Sales

You may recall that a few months ago we acted in the sale of a large estate in the North of Scotland for Eighton Estates Limited. We have now also sold a large property well in excess of £1m in Kippen, Stirlingshire incorporating a swimming pool and various other outbuildings. If you would like any advice in relation to any prospective sales or purchases of large properties then please do not hesitate to contact Forbes Leslie.

The Manipulation of LIBOR by the Banks and the impact on Interest Rate Swap Mis-selling

There has been considerable media coverage in relation to Barclays Bank for the manipulation of the global benchmark interest rates LIBOR and EURIBOR.  Whilst Barclays Bank have settled with the FSA and will pay penalties of £290m, there are allegations against other banking groups and many have already had litigation surrounding the alleged mis-sale of “interest rate protection” to UK SMEs.

LIBOR manipulation seems to have occurred on a regular basis between 2005 and 2009 and is likely to have an impact on many interest rate swaps mis-selling claims which stem from that period.  We have seen an increase in claims in relation to the mis-selling of interest rate swap deals under which companies swapped their liability to pay interest based on a floating London interbank rate for a higher fixed rate.  Many borrowers were told by the Banks of the benefits of the swap if interest rates increased with no explanation of what would happen if rates went down or what the cost would be if the borrower wished to repay the loan early.  Banks have a duty of care as to the truth of any representations it makes to their customers, which they seem to have breached.

Borrowers can now challenge the validity of a swap with a view to paying a lower floating rate of interest and claiming back their payments under the swap even if they are not refinancing with another bank.  Borrowers do not need to change banks and face further fees for termination. Borrowers who may wish to challenge a swap need to do so as soon as possible to avoid being time barred from claiming at all.

If your business is a party to an interest rate swap or other financial product which you feel was mis-sold, we are able to assist.  We invite you to contact us so we can assess your claim.  Please contact Mandy Quinn.

New Appointments at Dallas McMillan

We are pleased to announce that Eamonn McCarron and Mairi MacNeil have joined our litigation team as Assistants. Eamonn’s main focus in Personal Injury and Industrial Disease claims whilst Mairi deals with Personal Injury claims, Medical Negligence and Family law.

Contact Us

If you have any queries or would like to speak to one of our solicitors please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dallas McMillan
Regent Court
70 West Regent Street
Glasgow, Scotland
G2 2QZ

T. 0141 333 6750
F. 0141 333 6777

Follow us on Twitter: @DallasMcMillan
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