Katherine Apps writes for Michael Rubenstein Publishing on the Recovery of Costs Wasted When HMCTS Postponed a Hearing at the Last Minute
It’s the afternoon before a hearing in the Employment Tribunal. Counsel’s brief is incurred; the legal team is up to speed; witnesses are travelling down from around the UK; your client is nervous but ready to go.
You receive a call from the Tribunal office saying that the hearing won’t go ahead. They’ll be writing to the parties “in due course”.
You pick up the phone to the client. The client expresses disbelief, disappointment and then asks “but what about the legal fees I’ve already spent? Can I get my money back?” The usual response is to offer words of sympathy and understanding and to commiserate that “these things happen”. However a recently published decision of the Parliamentary Ombudsman may suggest a glimmer of an opportunity for redress.