Tribunal Costs and Recovery of the Same
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What is a Tribunal and What are the Different Types?
Tribunals are vital parts of the civil justice system and work alongside ordinary Courts. The main types of Tribunals in the UK are:
- Employment Tribunal
- Immigration and Asylum Tribunal
- Lands Tribunal
- Social security & child support commissioners
Tribunals are split into two tiers, the Upper Tribunal and the First-tier Tribunals. The Upper Tribunal is used to hear appeals from the First Tier Tribunal, to exercise judicial review powers and to deal with enforcements of orders made by Tribunals.
What are the Costs Involved in Taking a Case to the Tribunal?
The usual rule of thumb in a Tribunal is that each party bears their own legal costs of bringing or defending the tribunal claim. In some instances, and at certain Tribunals there is no Tribunal fee to be paid to bring a claim such as in the instance of employment tribunal claims. But orders for costs can be made by the Tribunal usually at the final hearing.
For example, under employment law and the Employment Tribunal Procedure Rules, a dispute for unfair dismissal will be dealt with at the Employment Tribunal. Whilst initially, each party bears their own costs, there are instances where the Tribunal can order costs for the claim brought. In this type of case, there are two orders which can be made in relation to costs, a costs order or a preparation time order. In each instance the Tribunal will consider making an order for costs if one party acted unreasonably in bringing or defending the claim.
Similarly, in the First Tier Tribunal Property Chamber it is usually the case that each party bears their own costs. The Tribunal in this instance can make an order for costs if there is a written contract between the parties which allows an order for costs, if there is an Act of Parliament which permits it or if either party has acted unreasonably in bringing or defending the case to the Tribunal.
Under Rule 9(2) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chambers) Rules 2014, the Immigration Tribunal can consider an award for costs to be made if a party has acted unreasonably in bringing, conducting or defending the case.
It becomes apparent that if a party’s conduct is deemed to be unreasonable by the Tribunal, a costs award will be considered by the Tribunal, irrespective of which Tribunal the case is in.
How to Avoid an Order for Costs in the Tribunal?
It is clearly important that you have a reasonable case before bringing this to the Tribunal. Similarly with defending a matter, it is important that you have reasonable grounds for your arguments before defending the matter.
It is also important that all the facts are disclosed and that you act in an honest manner throughout the proceedings, even before bringing the claim to the Tribunal. It is important that you comply with all Court deadlines, orders and requests to avoid an order for costs.
In any event, it may be worth considering setting up legal expenses insurance to protect your position before proceeding with your case to the Tribunal.
How can ARC Costs Help?
ARC Costs are expert Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers dealing with both receiving party and paying party costs. If a costs order has been made on your case at the Tribunal, we can assist with recovering these costs or disputing them. We can help attain a settlement agreement which suits all parties through our experienced negotiation skills. Should you require any assistance or would like to discuss your query, please contact us on 01204 397 302.