Kerry Underwood

A Christmas Carol by the High Court

with 22 comments


As the Supreme Court is about to hear the appeal against the Administrative Court’s refusal to judicially review Employment Tribunal fees, this post I wrote at the time needs another airing.

Scene: 

Any solicitor’s office in the country (except the Strand).

Solicitor:

So, Ms Peasant you have been sacked because you are pregnant and you have come in for a free interview.  Typical of your sort if I may say so.

Client: 

It’s so unfair.  I want to bring a claim.  You do no win no fee don’t you?

Solicitor: 

WE do. The State doesn’t.  Tribunal fees are £1,200.00 win or lose.

Client: 

I haven’t got that sort of money!  I am unemployed.  I’ve been sacked.

Solicitor: 

Come, come now.  I am an employment lawyer.  I know the minimum wage is £6.50 an hour.  Easy to remember; it is one hundredth of what I charge – 200 hours work and you have the fee, unless we need to appeal.  Cut out the foreign holidays. Sack the nanny – she won’t be able to afford the fee to sue you.  My little joke!

Client:  

My Mum looks after the children.  We only just got by when I was working.

Solicitor: 

There I can help you.  You need to prioritise your spending.  The High Court has said so.  Eat your existing children – Swift said that and he was a clever man, but you peasants don’t read you just watch Sky.

Client: 

We don’t have Sky.  Murdoch is nearly as right wing as the High Court.

Solicitor: 

Go down the library and read Swift.

Client: 

They’ve closed the library.

Solicitor:  

Have an abortion.  Save you money and I might be able to get your job back.

Client: 

I don’t want an abortion.  Anyway they’ve closed the clinic.

Solicitor:

Find a rich man.

Client: 

I am married.  My husband was sacked for complaining about my treatment at work.

Solicitor: 

Oh then he has a claim as well then.  Another £1,200.00 mind.

Client:  

I’ve had enough!

Solicitor: 

I advise on the law; I don’t make it.  I want to read to you what the High Court said:

“The question many potential claimants have to ask themselves is how to prioritise their spending; what priority should they give to paying fees in a possible legal claim as against many competing and pressing demands on their finances?”

It goes on a bit but basically do you want to bring a claim or eat and feed and clothe your children?

Client: 

But no-one should have to make that choice in Britain in 2014.

Solicitor:  

That’s where you are wrong.  The court said:

“The question is not whether it is difficult for someone to be able to pay – there must be many claimants in that position – it is whether it is virtually impossible and excessively difficult for them to do so”.

Client:  

That’s wicked.

Solicitor: 

That’s the High Court. Lord Justice Elias is paid £198,674.00 and Mr Justice Foskett £174,481.00 so they know all about having to count the pennies.

Client:

Surely Labour will change all this.

Solicitor: 

Nope.

Client:  

I think I will vote for the Fascists then.

Solicitor:

They tried that in Germany.    Didn’t do them much good. Nice rallies mind.

Client leaves.  Solicitor hums the Horst Wessel.  There is a muffled explosion.  The local court is in ruins.

 

See my related blogs:-

2016: Some Predictions

Briggs Online Live Open Court (BOLLOC)

2017: Some Predictions

Portal Portal Little Claim

The Legal Christmas Song Contest

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Written by kerryunderwood

December 18, 2014 at 10:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

22 Responses

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  1. quality

    Andrew Twambley

    December 18, 2014 at 10:26 am

  2. Or as Chris Grayling might say…..”Bah! Humbug!”

    Jim Knight

    December 18, 2014 at 10:27 am

  3. Another gem from Mr Underwood.

    I did find it hilarious, but sadly, it’s too near the truth for comfort. Anyhow, satire is the highest form of wit.

    I look forward to continuing to read your blogs, ( I still have job). Entertaining and enlightening .

    Whilst I don’t know you personally I’ve attended several of your excellent seminars.

    Season’s Greetings and a prosperous (sorry, I forgot you’re still primarily a solicitor) and keep up mobilising the troops.

    Regards
    Mitchell

    Mitchell Colville
    Head of Occupational Disease
    Associate Solicitor
    [equitas_logo_2]
    Equitas Solicitors
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    Preston
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    TEL: 01772 655196
    E-MAIL: mjcolville@equitassolicitors.co.uk
    This firm is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

    Mitchell J. Colville

    December 18, 2014 at 10:41 am

  4. Absolutely brilliant Kerry!

    Nicholas Lee
    Costs Lawyer
    Managing Director
    Paragon Costs Solutions
    Direct Dial: +44 (0)117 9309528
    Mobile: +44 (0)7587 776430
    http://www.paragoncosts.com
    Connect with me on LinkedIn
    Please note Paragon Costs Solutions does not accept service of documents by email

    paragoncosts2014

    December 18, 2014 at 11:33 am

  5. Maybe their Honours need to be visited by the ghost of Xmas Yet To Come so they can see where this lack of justice and compassion will lead us ………it worked with Ebenezer Scrooge…

    hastanton

    December 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    • Quite, but the Victorians were much more compassionate than society is now.

      Kerry

      kerryunderwood

      December 18, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      • I would like to disagree ….but sadly cannot . I never thought we would ever return to the worst days of Mrs Thatcher in this country ….but we have , and they have not finished yet .

        hastanton

        December 18, 2014 at 2:20 pm

  6. I agree. Notable that Margaret Thatcher did not destroy legal aid or attack the courts or indeed harm the legal system at all. Mrs Thatcher was of course a lawyer. Not defending her, but I believe the current atmosphere in this country now is far more dangerous than in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

    Kerry

    kerryunderwood

    December 18, 2014 at 2:25 pm

  7. It shows that a shocking system we now have where the size of your wallet dictates whether you get Justice or not. A very good piece Kerry, i dont know where you get the time to write all this though 🙂

    • Thanks Paul. That one did not take long – just a question of distilling my anger!

      Kerry

      kerryunderwood

      December 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm

  8. […] The solicitor and blogger, Kerry Underwood, was even inspired by the news to write an entertaining tribute to A Christmas Carol, with Lord Justice Elias and Mr Justice Foskett cast in the role of Ebeneezer […]

  9. […] anyone looking vaguely lawyer-like to sit down and bash out a blog. And, in any case, folk such as Kerry Underwood and James Medhurst were doing a fine job of pointing out the High Court Emperor’s lack of […]

  10. […] A CHRISTMAS CAROL BY THE HIGH COURT […]

  11. Reblogged this on Kerry Underwood and commented:

    As the Supreme Court is about to hear the appeal against the Administrative Court’s refusal to judicially review Employment Tribunal fees, this post I wrote at the time needs another airing.

    kerryunderwood

    December 6, 2016 at 6:22 am


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