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Tips for Choosing the Right Legal Software for your Business

Tips for Choosing the Right Legal Software for your Business

Software solutions can come in many varieties with just as many functions. Finding the right one for your business can be just as important as finding the right employees. You should think about longevity, function, and a user friendly nature. Having a single software solution will be highly beneficial to build your business; information sharing will be be made simpler, and you can significantly reduce the risk of losing information. Here are some tips to think about when choosing the right software for your business.

Function

What do you need? Most people like simple and intuitive interfaces that can perform every job quickly and efficiently. The software should be an extension of the employee, providing natural and easy ways to complete tasks. A single program, which takes the place of multiple programs that overlap, is ideal. Think firstly about what you want from a software solution. What do you need it to do to compliment your business strategies? Companies like GlobalX specialise in performance legal software and can then help you get started.

Growth

Will this software grow with your business? Solutions change rapidly, with new and more efficient versions coming out all the time. The software solution you choose should be able to perform its role, but not be outdated within a short amount of time. Updates are a necessary aspect of software solutions; you should look at the longevity of each update and how long in between the software can go before being altered. You want a solution that will not be outdated, simply updated; as the demands of your business change, so your solution should go with you.

Tips for Choosing the Right Legal Software for your Business

Demonstration

Before you decide on your software, find a vendor that will do a demonstration in your workplace. Have a hands-on experience with the software that provides real-world scenarios and examples. Allow your staff to practice and provide you with feedback about its practicality. Once you choose your solution provider, invest in the training. Often times, software programs are not utilised with every aspect of their capabilities. Your staff should be invested in learning to use the software to its full potential to maximise efficiency and business standards.

Compatibility

Does this software work well with others? Will this legal software be compatible with your word processing software? What about your email system? The solution you choose should be able to add seamlessly to the rest of the interfaces you and your staff use on a daily basis. Too much clunking around will not be efficient and will end up in a loss of productivity. Look at the way the software works with others. You want a system that adds efficiency to the workload, and not an extra burden from going tediously between systems that do not interact easily.

The software solution you pick should be an extension of your business and what the business does. Test them out and shop around until you find what you are looking for. What are your tips for finding the right legal software?

How to Find the Best Solicitor for Your Case

How to Find the Best Solicitor for Your Case

Whether you’re motoring down the A38 or cruising along the M5 motorway, accidents can happen in Gloucester at a moment’s notice.  If you or your passengers are injured, you’ll need a solicitor to represent you in the litigation that will follow the event; knowing how to find the most experienced team that can pursue the results that you want and need financially is crucial to the satisfaction that you will have.  Let’s take a look at how to find the best solicitor for your legal case.

How to Find the Best Solicitor for Your Case

  • One of the first things that you should do is check the website of the solicitor and their firm so that you can get information about the services they provide, their skills and talents, and the expertise that they can lend to your litigation proceedings.
  • You’ll want a solicitor that has plenty of experience in personal injury cases; you will also want to check their credentials to see that they are properly certified to represent you effectively.
  • Ask your neighbours and friends for referrals and recommendations; word of mouth is the best testimonial for any solicitor and will ensure they are well worth your investment.
  • You’ll want a solicitor that doesn’t require a fee for enquiries or advice about how to move forward with litigation; you don’t want to be forced into filing a claim for which there is no evidence.
  • You should partner with a solicitor that will provide contact information to you so that you can ask questions and communicate with them.  You’ll want the solicitor to be UK-based and preferably an injury solicitor in Gloucester if that’s where you live or work; hiring a team that is close to your home base makes meetings and consultations more convenient.
  • Pay attention to adverts in and around Gloucester, and keep in mind if the services or fees sound too good to be realistic then they probably have hidden fees and costs.
  • You also want to find a solicitor that is passionate about their work and who will understand your particular situation and financial needs.  They will know exactly what you need as far as rehabilitation treatments and other care as recommended by your physician that should be covered by the party responsible for the accident in which you were involved.
  • Find a solicitor that will answer your questions in language that is easily understood, who is concerned with your wellbeing and not just their fees, and one that is respected by their colleagues and officers of the court.  Good manners and professionalism are always in style and the solicitor that you hire must possess both.

Finding the right solicitor for your accident litigation in Gloucester is a matter of doing your homework, asking friends for recommendations, and asking a plethora of questions before you enter into an agreement with any solicitor.  Take your time, plan and prepare accordingly, and look for a true professional committed to honesty and integrity.

Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are your Common Rooms Safe for your Employees?

Common areas get a high volume of traffic during the day. It is important to make sure that the areas are safe for your employees, and offer the necessities needed to break up the duties of the day. Here are some things to think about when looking at the safety of your common rooms.

Proper Hygiene

Many people will use the common room, spreading germs and bacteria. It is important to remember that all employees wipe down surfaces. This is especially true of food spaces like kitchens and break-rooms with refrigerators, sinks, and counter spaces. Employees who store food in the refrigerators should remember to dispose of if after its expiration. Safety starts with clean environments where users do not have to worry about hygiene issues.

Are your Common Rooms Safe for your Employees?

Tidiness

All staff that use the common areas should know to tidy up after every use. Stacks of dishes, garbage, and other items can pile up quickly. Keeping the area clean and tidy is important for employees to be able to fully enjoy each space. This is as much your responsibility as it is all staff. Tidiness can reduce the hazards of accidental injury due to improperly placed items. Employees should feel confident that they would not sustain any injury, or ailment by using any of the common areas.

Comfort

Common rooms should provide enough space where a number of people can gather freely and comfortably. Consider a range of seating options and even foliage to create an atmosphere of relaxation where employees can go to relieve stress. This in turn, is likely to increase their productivity. Common rooms can provide employees the opportunity to take breaks away from their computer screens, from their repetitive movements, or to clear their thoughts.

Are your Common Rooms Safe for your Employees?

Privacy

Employees should feel comfortable and confident that their workplace is suitable and understanding of needs that should arise. Areas in the workplace should be designed for privacy. Employees can lock up their personal belongings, freshen up, have a quiet moment alone, or whatever else they might need. Invest in storage lockers, showers, and changing areas for those employees who cycle to work, or exercise during the day.

Free from Injury

As much as common areas should cater to an employee’s physical comfort and mental happiness, reducing the hazards presented in these spaces is essential. Look at minimising objects placed up high, sharp corners of tables and chairs, and other objects that might cause injury. Common areas should be safe places just like the rest of the workplace.

Common room safety is more than just about physical hazards. Safety is also about comfort and mental well being as well as the safety of personal items. All of these are important to consider when thinking about employee safety in all areas of the workplace. Your workforce will focus more fully on their daily tasks when they do not have to worry about their safety. Specialist legal groups like Turner Freeman Lawyers
know the importance of workplace safety and can help ensure that you are complying with all the relevant laws.

How to Be Forthcoming About Previous Legal Transgressions

How to Be Forthcoming About Previous Legal Transgressions

In my final days of law school, I made a mistake that could have cost me a career. After enjoying just a few too many at one of the numerous graduation parties, I made the decision to drive home, and was actually pulled over for suspicion of DUI. Having blown .11 (.03 over the legal limit), I was taken to jail, fingerprinted, and then released with an order to appear in court. Being just a few days from graduation, I was well versed in the Arizona DUI process, but I opted against representing myself in favor of a more experienced attorney. Where hubris lost, I won. I was able to plea down to a 90 day license suspension, community service, fines, and the conviction would drop off my record after 18 months.

My mind started to wonder at just how much trouble I’d be in when it came to actually using my three years of law school in order to get a job upon graduation, or worse yet, would I have any serious repercussions with the State Bar of Arizona?

Luckily, I managed to get by my previous transgression wiped, and ultimately ended up at a great firm representing clients that are the victims of workplace accidents, malpractice and other injuries. I knew from the time I entered law school that I wanted to end up with a firm that handled accident and malpractice suits. I guess if I had to choose what made me want to get into the slip and fall type accident space, it’d be just the amount of money floating around in the space that injured people are entitled to. One local firm specializing in this sort of “slip and fall” legal practice, Goldberg and Osborne, has received more than 2-billion dollars in settlements for their clients–and that’s just one firm. While money is great, my primary intention is to make sure my client gets as much of that as they should be receiving from insurance companies who would like to pay next to nothing for what often amounts to gross negligence by another party.

But in order to practice in the area of my choosing, first I’d need to clear this cloud hanging over my head. I sought advice from everyone I knew on just how to handle the matter when it came to applying for positions in local firms, and it can all be summed up in three little actionable bytes:

Be Honest

It turns out that legal firms know an awful lot about the law, and are very good at seeing if and when you broke it. If you lie during your interview, they’re almost certain to find out about it at some point. Maybe they won’t pull your record before hiring you, but inevitably it can and will come up at some date in the future. I was advised to just be forthcoming about the matter to all future employers, and to explain that it was a one time mistake, and that I wasn’t going to let it define me, or my career. It was something I had learned from, and didn’t expect to repeat.

Explain the Situation and What You Learned From It

In my case, it was a pretty simple explanation. I had had one drink to many, and I blew slightly over the legal limit. Now, the degree by which I broke the law isn’t an excuse, in fact had I only blown slightly over the legal limit I would have, in fact, still been breaking the law. I explained to them that I was wrong, and that even though it was only slightly over the legal limit – a mistake that anybody can make – I wasn’t justifying my actions, and that I accepted full responsibility. I explained that I learned a valuable lesson that day, and now I don’t drive at all if I plan on drinking, even if it’s just one drink with dinner. In short, I’m a better person because of it, and I’ve certainly learned my lesson.

Be Willing to Take What’s Available In Order to Prove Yourself

As good as all this advice was, and as much as I want to tell you that the firms I applied at took pity on me and gave me a chance, I can’t tell you that. You see, the legal field is a competitive one, and each year some of the best and brightest minds graduate law school and attempt to find a job. The problem is, there are far more new lawyers than there are jobs, and as such, the firms have their pick of a number of quality candidates. While my grades were good, and I had excellent recommendations, it seems that it just wasn’t good enough to cover up the fact that I had made a mistake, and a costly one.

So, I ended up taking a job as an attorney at a non-profit, for a fraction of what I could have made at one of the big firms. After my DUI was expunged from my record 18-months later, I began the process all over again and sought out the job in my chosen niche, accident law. I was still forthcoming about the legal issue, but I explained that it was my first offense and that it had since been wiped from my record. After my third interview, I was offered a job, and now I’m happy to report that I’m practicing law in my chosen niche.

The lesson here is that a lot of doors are ultimately going to be slammed in your face when you have legal issues, but want to work in law. Obviously the best course of action is to avoid the trouble in the first place, but if you’re unlucky enough to end up in my situation it’s important that you persevere. Knowing where you are, and where you want to end up are keys to success in this profession, and with the right amount of willpower, a positive attitude and the willingness to prove yourself after these sorts of transgressions, you can and will get to where you want to be.

Health and safety considerations when designing an office

Keeping an office environment healthy and safe involves paying attention to equipment design and potentially hazardous materials. Psychological factors should also be taken into account, as well as aspects of the physical environment such as humidity, temperature, noise and ventilation. A well-designed office will allow employees to work comfortably without undue stretching, bad posturing or exposure to physical hazards.

Unsafe or unhealthy working conditions are not, as is commonly believed, confined to building sites and factories. Whether the workplace is outdoors or indoors, potential hazards may be found anywhere and everywhere.

The cost to employers

For workers, the direct costs for illness or injury may include pain of course but also loss of income and the possibility of losing their job altogether, coupled with healthcare costs. For the employer too, the costs of illnesses and occupational accidents can be significant. For a small business just starting out, the consequences of even one accident can prove crippling. Direct costs include:

  • Compensation and medical payments
  • Payment for work not carried out
  • Reduction or halt in production
  • Negative morale impact on other workers
  • Repair or replacement of equipment

There may be indirect costs as well, such as the recruitment and training of a new worker, time allocated to obligatory official investigations, form filling and report writing. Workplace accidents often also affect worker–employer industrial relations, and public relations can also be negatively impacted if word get out that this is not a safe environment for workers.

Office design

Ergonomics, in relation to selecting the most appropriate office furniture to avoid the multitude of potential hazards in any office environment, relates to the interaction between the employee, chair, desk and various computer interfaces. Employers should carry out a preliminary assessment using various combinations of these before ordering the best ergonomic office chairs for a particular environment, for instance.

Tidy space

A spacious office environment is widely viewed as key to the creation of a creative, productive and happy working environment. Workers should be able to get from and to their personal workspace without finding themselves obstructed by furniture and other objects, or by other workers in a cramped space. There should be free and unimpeded access to well-placed toilet or kitchen facilities.

The upshot of all this is that if an employee cannot move freely around the office or easily access equipment such as photocopiers and printers, there will be a detrimental effect on their job satisfaction and productivity, and this will, in all likelihood, lead to the employee taking sick leave.

To summarize

Running a safe and healthy office environment makes sense from all angles, and cutting corners on design, selection of equipment and the choice of appropriate office furniture can prove damaging for employers and employees alike in both the short and long term. With such a wealth of constructive advice out there, and research results freely available online, there’s really no excuse not to have the happy, productive office space that is in everyone’s interests.

10 Scholarships for Lawyers

If you are a person with both abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills, then you’re probably thinking that a career in law might be right for you. Well, law is really an appealing and interesting career because aside from the competitive income, it also provides a lot of opportunities for personal and career development.

Legal Scholarships

However, the road to becoming a lawyer is not easy. It is very demanding and challenging. It not just requires a significant amount of investment in time, expertise, and energy, but in money as well. Luckily, there are plenty of scholarships available to help students ease their financial burden. If you really want to become a lawyer, you should check out these available scholarships to help you fund your education.

  1. ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund. This scholarship provides financial assistance to ethnically diverse students. Twenty successful applicants will receive $15,000 worth of financial assistance over the course of their three years in school of law.

 

  1. TruFit Good Citizen Scholarship. This type of scholarship awards financial assistance to high school seniors and current students who demonstrate commitment to doing great deeds in their communities. It provides $50,000 worth of financial assistance annually to deserving students who have been accepted to a federal-accredited college or graduate program.

 

  1. Donald W. Banner Diversity Scholarship for Law Students. Banner & Witcoff offers this scholarship to support the development of intellectual property lawyers from diverse backgrounds. It awards $5,000 worth of financial assistance to students who meet their requirements and have entered into a JD program at an ABA-accredited school in the U.S.

 

  1. Anheuser-Busch/NLF Presidential Scholarships. The NAPABA Law Foundation offers this type of scholarship to law students who demonstrate particularly outstanding leadership potential to serve the Asian Pacific Community. Two selected applicants each year will receive $7,500 worth of financial assistance.

 

  1. George H. Nofer Scholarship for Law and Public Policy. This type of scholarship program offers financial assistance to law students with hearing loss. They offer a minimum award of $5,000 to selected applicants.

 

  1. Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Scholarship. The WLALA offers financial assistance to law students whose past and current activities, as well as future plans demonstrate a commitment to helping women and/or children. To be eligible, you should be currently enrolled in a law school accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State of California, and have plan to practice your profession in the said state.

 

  1. United Negro College Fund (UNCF). UNCF offers numerous scholarship programs and grants for students who want to attend college. All their scholarship programs are open to all ethnicities, but most of their recipients are African-American.

 

  1. Leonard C. Horn Award for Legal Studies. The Miss America Organization offers this award for women who are competing at a national, state, or local beauty pageant and are pursuing a career in the law field.

 

  1. New York University Scholarship Programs. New York University offers numerous scholarship programs to students who want to pursue a career that promote justice and have exceptional academic and leadership accomplishments. Their scholarship programs are able to provide up to full tuition assistance for three years in law school.

10.  MCCA Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program. The LMJ program provides scholarship to diverse students who have outstanding academic performance and interest in corporate law. Fifteen students are being selected annually to receive a $10,000 worth of financial assistance for their first year in law school. Additional award may be given to students for their second and third year in law school.

 

So there you have it! If you want to pursue a career in law but don’t have enough funds to pay for your education, then consider these scholarship options. If you are looking for other types of scholarships, check more here.

Challenging a parking fine: what you need to know

Challenging a parking fine: what you need to know

Motoring in the UK is fraught with predictable costs: fuel, insurance, MOTs, road tax, but it’s the unexpected costs that really get to drivers. Regular servicing from specialists such as T W White & Sons can help keep repair bills to a minimum, as can driving sensibly and safely. And keeping on the right side of parking inspectors.

One thing often said about the English is we don’t like to complain, but when it comes to parking fines, that would seem not to be the case. Over 70,000 motorists appealed against their supposed infractions in 2012-13 and half of them won their challenges. No-one likes returning to their vehicle to find a ticket tucked under the wipers, especially if it’s unwarranted. So if you feel your parking fine ought to be challenged then it’s always worth appealing against it through the official process.

Now, as any comprehensive guide will tell you, the grounds for appealing, and the actual process, are varied and lengthy. I’m not going to go into any great depth here on how to actually go about challenging your ticket, I’m going to focus more on information you need to know in order to stand the best chance of success.

1. Don’t pay. If you pay the fine, this is viewed as an admission of guilt. This doesn’t apply of course if your car has been towed or clamped and you need to pay to get it back.

2. If you’re planning to appeal you need to act immediately, but once your appeal is in the system be prepared for it to drag on for some time, perhaps even months. Consider if this is really worth the hassle.

3. Who issued the fine? There are four agencies that can do so in the UK: the police, local authorities, Transport for London, and private companies. Knowing which was responsible helps you determine if you’ve got a criminal or a civil fine (as well as the police, local authorities also issue criminal fines, although it’s usually civil). Criminal fines are more difficult to overturn.

4. You need to assemble your evidence. Use your phone to take photos of your car’s position, road marking, signs, anything relevant. Are there any witnesses who can corroborate your argument? Keep hold of your parking ticket if you had one, and any correspondence between yourself and the agency. If you have extenuating circumstances, proof of this will be needed. Fines issued by post are more troublesome, as the offence will have taken place some time previously, so in this case your best bet would be to check if the area you parked is covered by CCTV.

5. Remember that it is the registered owner of the car, not the driver, who is at fault. So if your son or daughter picks up a fine and doesn’t tell you, you may have difficulty appealing later on. If you’re driving a hire car then you will need to let the company know if you intend to challenge.

6. Assuming you have a civil fine, you begin with an informal appeal to the council. If this fails you can then make a formal appeal (this is the first step if your car was clamped or towed.) Finally, you can make an appeal to an independent body. If you pass through every stage and still have no luck, then you may as well give up. Pay your fine as soon as possible to avoid it rising by 50%, and move on.

7. If you received a fine while in a private car park, the process is different. The owners set their own rules, and you will be appealing instead to POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals). The operator will need to be in breach of the British Parking Association’s Code of Practise, or Contract Law. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can just ignore this kind of fine, it could end up costing you dearly.

What can you find out about a company through Companies House?

What can you find out about a company through Companies House?

Companies House is the name of the registration office for companies in England and Wales. Companies incorporated in England and Wales must register and submit certain documentation to Companies House, who make most of that information available to the public.

Every day, many individuals and firms need to access the records held by Companies House in order to find out information about companies they are directly advising or companies their clients have dealings with. Among the professionals that frequently search information about companies are accountants, tax advisors, business consultants, solicitors and notaries (see, for instance Vanner Perez Notaries).

A company search may be required for a variety of reasons. The person making the search may need to find out or confirm details such as whether the company is currently active, when it was incorporated, who are the shareholders and directors, etc. The information publicly accessible via Companies House also includes information about mortgages and other charges and, crucially, the company’s annual accounts. This information can be very useful for those interested in how the company is doing, such as creditors, competitors or potential investors.

The register is searchable by anyone, not only professionals. Companies House’s website offers a general search facility, called WebCheck, as well as a subscription service called Companies House Direct. They have also recently developed a free app that can be used for easy searches through mobile devices.

What type of information about a company can be found via Companies House?

Companies can be searched by name or number, and with a couple of clicks it is possible to find out basic details about the company, including the following:

– Current and previous names

– Registration number

– Registered address

– Type of company (e.g. private or public)

– Date of incorporation

– Current status (e.g. active, in administration or dissolved)

– Nature of business (only if the company has provided this)

– Relevant dates (e.g. when the next accounts are due)

– Mortgages (classified as outstanding, satisfied and part satisfied)

A separate section gives the names of the company’s directors (and secretary, where there is one), including their contact addresses, their dates of appointment and, in the case of past directors, the date they resigned. In fact, it is also possible to search the whole register by director name. This brings up a list of all the companies of which that particular person is, or has been, a director or a secretary.

Furthermore, for a small charge it is possible to access the various documents that the company has submitted to Companies House and that form part of the public file of the company. These documents will include the memorandum and articles of association of the company (containing their internal regulations), the annual accounts, certain resolutions regarding events such as a change of company name or an increase in share capital, and the annual return (this is a snapshot of the company submitted every year to Companies House which gives up-to-date information about the shareholders, directors, etc.). From these documents it is possible to obtain useful information about the financial affairs of the company, the identity of its shareholders and directors, and any major events affecting the life of the company.

Apart from the simple copies that can be downloaded from Companies House’s website, it is also possible to order certified copies that will have the signature of an official acting on behalf of the Registrar of Companies. These certified copies may be used, for example, to provide evidence about the company to foreign authorities, which may be required for procedures such as setting up a branch, opening bank accounts, registering a trademark or suing a debtor.

It is also possible to order a document known as a ‘certificate of good standing’, which will confirm that the company is active and up to date with its filing obligations. This certificate can be useful to satisfy foreign authorities that a company is ‘healthy’. The certificate can include any relevant information requested, such as the registered address, previous company names, directors’ and shareholders’ names, share capital, etc.

There are other sources that may be used to gather information about a company. The University of Reading publishes a useful list of directories that can be useful to find other company details, both in the UK and abroad.

Had an accident at work? Here’s what you should do

Had an accident at work? Here’s what you should do

Who’d have thought it? Even in some of the most banal workplaces, accidents happen with a huge frequency. In fact, government body the Health and Safety Executive report that over 27 million working days were lost due to work-related illness or injury. That amounts to more than 73,000 years!

Indeed, if you’ve ever tripped, slipped or taken a bad turn at work, you’ll know that, some of the time, it isn’t really your fault. A lot of the time, the blame lies with an employer who doesn’t have the wherewithal to conform to health and safety legislation.

That’s not to say that your boss is necessarily a horrible person. They might be a perfectly amiable, tweed-wearing, soft-spoken sweetheart. But no matter how pleasant they seem, the temptation to skimp on the appropriate safety measures for their employees can be too great for even the nicest of people.

When you’re lying at home with a cast on your leg or a burn on your arm through no fault of your own, there’s one thing you should do – pick up the phone.

A guide to your legal process

You’ve all seen those injury solicitor ads on the telly – “HAVE YOU HAD AN ACCIDENT AT WORK?” they boom at you, usually pointing an incriminating finger in your direction.

But these solicitors aren’t just about provocative ads. If you give them a call they could put you on track to gaining compensation from your injury.

On the phone, they’ll ask you to detail your case and, if they think it has a leg to stand on, you’ll be asked to provide as much evidence as possible for your solicitor to examine.

How much evidence do you need? Well, how long is a piece of string? Evidence could mean anything, including CCTV footage, witness testimonies, doctor’s reports, emotional impact and proof of shirked safety legislation. Essentially, the more you can dredge up, the higher the likelihood of you winning your case.

After this, your representation will get the litigation ball rolling, sending out a letter to your employer informing them of the claim. If your employer accepts it, then a settlement could be made. If they don’t then your solicitor will contact a judge to pencil in a date to prove your claim.

It’s by this point that you’ll have to put your full trust in the professionalism of your legal representation. They’ll represent you in your case, so all you have to do is help them in any way you can.

Whether you win or lose your case, the important thing to remember is that the legal system gave you a fair hearing. Without someone to point the finger when health and safety legislation isn’t followed, many more employers would see what they can and can’t get away with it.

So, have you had an accident at work? Then pick up the phone!

Ways to Successfully Settle Employment Claims  

Ways to Successfully Settle Employment Claims  

Employment claims can be brought about for any number of reasons. Often it could be that the employer has terminated a contract of employment that the employee wishes to contest. Or, it may be that the employee feels that they are being mistreated in the workplace. Whatever the reason, going through with an employment claim can be hugely stressful and is not something that should be taken on lightly.

If things cannot be amicably settled between the two aggrieved parties there may be cause for the case to be moved on to an employment tribunal. All employment tribunals are independently judged and can result in the employer paying compensation to the employee should they win the case. However, since the introduction of employment tribunal fees in July 2013, the need for a solid and legitimate claim is more important than ever so the employee should not initiate a claim purely on a whim.

Settling disputes

When there are legitimate grounds for grievances to be heard there are three main ways that, with the help of a neutral third party, these can be brought to a satisfactory resolution. These are:

  • Mediation – An impartial third party will sit down with both the employer and the employee and look at the problems that exist between the two parties involved. Generally a solution can be reached at the mediation stage, but the mediator cannot push either the employer or the employee into accepting a resolution. It is prudent not to use the service of a mediator should the case be of a discriminatory or criminal nature.
  • Conciliation – Conciliation, just like mediation, is also voluntary. Both the employer and the employee must agree to the conciliation in order to progress. Conciliation is usually brought about when the employee believes that they have an entitlement to lodge a claim at an employment tribunal or if they have already previously made a claim.
  • Arbitration – Arbitration is where an independent, neutral third-party assesses the case and makes a decision based on the facts presented. Once all of the issues have been looked at both parties must concur to the arbitrator’s judgement being legally binding. If either party does not agree then there is still the option of an employment tribunal available.

Compromise agreements

Often referred to as settlement agreements, compromise agreements are legally binding and can be used to end disputes that may occur when an employment contract is terminated. Compromise agreements can be bewildering to the layman so it is vitally important that you employ a competent and reputable solicitor.Rodney Hylton-Potts, who has worked on high profile cases such as the Polly Peck trial in the 1980’s and the 2008 judicial review of the smoking ban, is well versed in compromise agreements and could help you get the desired outcome for your case.

Compromise agreements will, more often than not, end with an offer of a financial settlement. This means that should an agreement be reached between all parties concerned a full and final settlement will be offered and the case will be brought to an end.