ROBIN JOHN MASON, Solicitor, specialising in employment law in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands but covering the whole of the UK and beyond, if required.

 

SERVICES 

 

I provide legal services (advice, representation etc.) to employers and employees on the law as it relates to the relationship between employer and employee.  This covers most aspects of that relationship, such as the contract of employment and the numerous schemes of rights and protection laid down in legislation, such as minimum wage, statutory holiday entitlement, unfair dismissal and the various forms of unlawful discrimination.


Disputes about these matters are generally conducted in the Employment Tribunal.  I represent parties in Employment Tribunal claims and in the higher tribunals, such as the Employment Appeal Tribunal.  I do the advocacy work (presenting the case in the Tribunal or Court) myself, rather than subcontracting it to Barristers.


Much of my work relates to settlement agreements, where an employer pays money to an employee to bring the employment relationship to and end and requires the employee to sign a waiver of employment rights and claims.  The employee must receive advice from a legally qualified person, to make the waiver valid.  I draw up these agreements for employers and give advice to employees who are asked to sign them.  I do not advise in relation to workplace injury claims or health-and-safety issues.

 

If you think that I might be able to assist you but you are not sure whether I cover the subject-matter of the query or problem at hand, please give me a call on 07887 983276 or send an email on External link opens in new tab or windowlaw@robinmason.co.uk.


EXPERTISE & QUALIFICATIONS

 

I am a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, a qualification which requires six years of education and training.  I qualified as a Solicitor in 1986 and since 1987 I have worked exclusively in employment law, including spells in Birmingham (in a major national practice), Manchester and Sheffield.  30-plus years' experience in employment law has brought me into regular contact with all areas of employment practice and has enabled me to develop specialist expertise in employment law.

 

REGULATION

 

Solicitors are regulated by SRA, the Solicitors' Regulation Authority, which has powers of discipline over solicitors.  I am authorised and regulated by SRA.  My SRA registration numbers are 133152 (personal) and 387566 (the firm).  The link below will take you to the SRA website:

 

External link opens in new tab or windowhttp://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/solicitors.page




TRANSPARENCY OF PRICE/COST AND SERVICES


The Solicitors’ profession has transparency rules which require me to display (in a clear and easy-to-understand format) prices and service information if I publish information stating that I represent parties in Employment Tribunal claims for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal.

 

In fact I offer representation in the Employment Tribunal in a variety of matters, not just unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal, the most common ones being in respect of discrimination and disputes over wages and holiday pay.  I represent either side – employees or employers, which are called “Claimant” and “Respondent” respectively, in the trade.

 

The price/cost information I am required to display is as follows: 

 

SRA requirement

Information

Provide a total cost, if this is not possible provide an average or range of costs

 

Full representation will cost at least £5,000 plus VAT.  That means fees for my time and expertise, not out-of-pocket expenses.  The cost depends on the complexity of the dispute, not the amount at stake.  Most of the time, research is required.  Lawyers are expected to know the law or learn it, so there is no charge for research. 

Explain the basis of your charges, including any hourly rate or fixed fees

 

It is permissible (and indeed common) for Claimants to make a claim without full representation.  Those who do sometimes come to me for help.  When they do, I charge £150 plus VAT per hour.  As above, no charge for incidental research.

Highlight likely disbursements, and their costs

 

The only out-of-pocket expenses Employment Tribunal proceedings are mileage and reprographic (including large-item postage), which are not usually more than £200 between them, and (if the hearing is in a remote location) hotel accommodation in the locality of the hearing centre, which would be about the same.

Be clear on whether VAT is included

 

Fees for my time and expertise attract VAT, as indicated above.   With out-of-pocket expenses, the rule is "plus VAT where applicable”.

For conditional or damages-based fees, explain when clients may have to make payments

 

It is very rarely that I take cases on a “no win, no fee” basis but if I do, there will be clear indication of any payments required.

 

 

The service information I am required to display is as follows:

 

SRA requirement

Information

Explain what services are included for the quoted price

Where I am providing full representation, everything requiring legal expertise, which is essentially:

 

·         Drawing up the claim or defence*

·         Managing document disclosure

·         Drafting witness statements

·         Conducting the hearing

·         Drafting arguments/submissions

 

Where I am providing help, this will depend on what is required/agreed.

 

*This includes the ACAS Early Conciliation process

 

Highlight any services not included within the price, which a client may reasonably expect to be included

 

Appeals and reviews of decisions would be subject of separate charge.  I do not perform legwork, such as last-minute delivery of hard copy bundles of documents, where the last-minute rush is not my fault.

Include information on key stages and typical timescales of these

 

It takes about a year to get from drawing up the claim and filing it to a full trial of the claim, depending on geography.  Covid is affecting this and will no doubt continue to do so.  Timings are roughly as follows:

 

Stage

Timing

Issue of claim (preceded by ACAS Early Conciliation process)

Claim must generally be filed within three months of dismissal or other event giving rise to claim (but please do not treat this as legal advice about claim deadlines)

Filing defence

Respondent gets 28 days

Document disclosure

Typically within three months of filing of claim

Witness statements

Typically not until about a month before hearing

Hearing

 

Typically a year after claim filed

Publish the qualifications and experience of anyone carrying out the work and of their supervisors

 

There is only me.  I qualified as a Solicitor in 1986 and started practising employment law a year later.  I presented my first Employment Tribunal case as advocate (meaning standing at the front and doing the talking) in 1989 and have presented perhaps a hundred of them since.  I have also presented cases in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

 


COMPLAINTS

I want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about that service, then you should inform me immediately, so that I can do my best to resolve the problem.  If you would like to make a formal complaint to me, then please by all means do so.  I will treat that complaint seriously and give you a prompt response in proper detail. Making a complaint will not affect how I handle your case.


If I cannot resolve your complaint, the Legal Ombudsman can help you. The Legal Ombudsman will look at your complaint independently.  This it will not affect how I handle your case.  Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with me first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and no more than six years from the date of act/omission or no more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.


If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman:

Visit: External link opens in new tab or windowwww.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call: 0300 555 0333 between 0900 and 1700

Email: External link opens in new tab or windowenquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

 

The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about my behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.  Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the External link opens in new tab or windowSolicitors Regulation Authority.  If you require further assistance, please contact the External link opens in new tab or windowProfessional Ethics helpline.



CONTACT DETAILS


Telephone: 07887 983276


Email: law@robinmason.co.uk


Address: 75 Sara Close Four Oaks Sutton Coldfield West Midlands UK B74 4BP