Led by our Head of Group Justine Soutter, we will carefully assess the risks and rewards of every course of action and endeavour to keep to your timescales and budgets.
We have successfully represented clients at Mediations and Arbitrations as well as in the High Court, County Court, Employment Tribunal, First Tier Tribunal and Land Tribunal.
We advise on:
- Debt Recovery
- Contractual disputes
- Judicial review
- Professional negligence
- Defamation and Libel
- Highways & Planning disputes and enforcement
- Gypsy and Travellers
- Coroners Law
- Probation Law
- Contracts of employment
- Employment Tribunal claims
- Unfair dismissal
- Maternity and Parental Rights
- Equal pay claims
- Settlement agreements
- Organisational change
- Freedom of Information requests and challenges
- Data Subject Access Requests
- GDPR and Data Protection
- SEN and discrimination issues and claims
- Complaints and issues with parents
- School transport queries
- Service charge disputes
- Possession claims
- Dilapidations disputes
- Trespass claims
- Contested lease renewals
- Boundary disputes
- Removal of unauthorised encampments
- Food standards
- Health & Safety
Our team has over 70 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to dispute resolution, employment, education, landlord and tenant/property disputes and regulatory matters.
We have eight members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Justine Soutter, Senior Solicitor and Head of Dispute Resolution and Employment at Invicta Law.
Head of Dispute Resolution and Employment
Senior Solicitor (11 years’ PQE)
Justine is Head of the Dispute Resolution and Employment team and has a wealth of experience in private and public law.
Justine started her career working for a Legal 500 ranked City firm advising companies, commercial landlords and high net worth individuals. In 2013, after having her family, Justine joined the in-house legal team at the Kent County Council where she dealt with high profile, politically sensitive disputes. She then joined Invicta Law in 2017.
Justine’s main practice involves advising on complex disputes of all kinds, including highways and property disputes and insolvency.
Justine is a tenacious litigator and a keen advocate; however, she knows that it is often better for clients to resolve their disputes outside of court. Justine helps clients to resolve their disputes through mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution as well through skilful negotiation.
Justine understands how stressful disputes can be and strives to make the resolution process as quick and easy as possible. Justine’s clients praise her for her dedication, speed of reaction and clear, confident advice.
Shejal (Sage) Patel
Senior Solicitor (14 years’ PQE)
Sage is a Senior Solicitor who joined Invicta Law in 2017, having worked at Kent Legal Services since 2006. He qualified in 2003, having completed his training with a London firm of Solicitors with whom he stayed for three years after qualifying. Sage is experienced in Public Law and has particular expertise in Regulatory and Criminal Law.
Sage’s practice includes dealing with issues concerning Gypsies and Travellers, advising Coroners, dealing with issues concerning fraud, environmental waste and breaches of licence conditions. He has successfully brought and defended claims in the Court of Appeal.
Sage is praised by clients for his enthusiasm, tenacity and speed.
Senior Solicitor (27 years’ PQE)
Mark qualified as a solicitor in 1991 after training in private practice. Mark joined Invicta Law in 2017 having worked at Kent Legal Services for twenty years.
Mark is a public law specialist and has developed a comprehensive understanding of the challenges that public sector organisations can face through governance issues whether reputational, financial or through litigation.
Mark provides commercial regulatory advice including data protection, freedom of information, disclosure and barring scheme requirements, advice on member code of conduct and standards, local authority finance and education advice.
Mark also advises extensively on the pension issues relating to TUPE transfers, under the LGPS, the NHS and the Civil Service Regulations.
Mark has been an adviser to a large fire and rescue authority for twenty years and understands the particular issues that those authorities face.
Mark prides himself on engaging with problems from the client’s perspective. Clients praise him for his efficiency, speed and technical expertise.
Solicitor (12 years’ PQE)
Michael joined Invicta Law in 2017 having worked at Kent Legal Services since 2008.
Michael advises on employment matters including contractual issues, disciplinary and grievance issues, and allegations of sex, race and disability discrimination. He has conducted many Employment Tribunal cases, and is an experienced advocate in the Employment Tribunal, with an excellent record of success.
Michael has acted as adviser to disciplinary appeal panels, exclusion appeal panels and school transport appeals. Michael also advises schools on a wide range of issues including admissions and exclusions, school security, disputes with parents, data protection issues, and employment matters.
Michael recently advised a fire and rescue service on the implications of a fundamental regional reorganisation, and on the reorganisation of its retained duty systems.
Solicitor (5 years’ PQE)
Hayley qualified as a Solicitor in 2012, having trained with a well-established regional firm in Essex. She joined Invicta Law in 2017, having worked at Kent Legal Services since 2015.
Hayley works with a wide range of clients, from local authorities to charities, schools and fire authorities. Hayley deals with contentious and non-contentious employment law. She provides significant support and guidance on a variety of HR issues. Hayley’s clients praise her for her proactivity, dedication and support.
Legal Assistant (LLB (Hons)
Having graduated from the University of Warwick with a First-Class Honours degree in Law in July 2018, Samuel joined the team at Invicta to assist primarily with probation matters.
He previously worked at a firm of criminal defence solicitors in Buckinghamshire, where he was able to gain valuable experience assisting on a wide range of criminal cases, from low-value thefts to murder trials. Samuel has ambitions to qualify as a solicitor in the future and hopes to complete the Legal Practice Course within the next few years.
Trainee Solicitor (LLB (Hons)
Harry studied History at the University of Sheffield before studying at the University of Law and completing his Graduate Diploma in Law in 2017 and his Masters of Law in Professional Legal Practice (LPC LLM) in 2018. During this time, he also volunteered at Brent Community Law Centre.
Harry joined Invicta Law in October 2018 and worked as a Legal Assistant alongside others in the Planning and Highways team on s38 and s278 agreements, Deeds of Variation, Parking and Public Path Orders and Stopping Up orders. His main roles involved liaising with relevant stakeholders and preparing documents for completion and distribution.
Harry started his training contract on 1st April 2019 in the Dispute Resolution and Employment team.
In accordance with the new Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) guidelines, we are now including information on some services we provide to ensure consumers have the information they need to make an informed choice of legal services provider, including understanding what the costs may be.
Employment tribunal: Range of costs
We believe it is vital for clients to receive sound advice from legal professionals that understand the needs of your organisation.
Our employment team understands there is no “one size fits all” solution to employment law. Our team will consider the structure and size of your organisation and will tailor its services to meet your needs.
Guide pricing for defending claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination or whistleblowing are as follows:
Fee (excluding VAT and third-party Disbursements)
|Simple Case||£6,000 - £8,000|
|Medium Complexity Case||£10,000 - £20,000|
|High Complexity Case||£20,000 +|
- Multiple allegations.
- Making or defending a costs application.
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties).
- The number of witnesses and volume of documents.
- Allegations of discrimination or whistleblowing.
- Applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
- Making or defending a costs application.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Counsel’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Counsel's fees are estimated to be between £750 to £2500 per day (depending on the experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change).
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation; this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
- Preparing the claim or response.
- Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the other party.
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
- Preparing for (and attending) a preliminary hearing.
- Obtaining and considering all relevant documents.
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents.
- Preparing a bundle of documents.
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements.
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
- Instructing Counsel if required.
- Preparation and attendance at a final hearing.
The stages set out above are only an indicator of typical key stages and some may not be required. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged according to your individual needs.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take up to 6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 6-12 months. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
Debt Recovery: Range of costs
Whilst we consider it to be in everyone’s best interest to avoid court proceedings, it’s hard to ignore the fact that recovering debts will have major cash flow implications for businesses. It’s all well and good trying to keep unnecessary disputes out of court, but an intransigent debtor now has much more time to avoid paying their debts.
We recognise this as a serious issue, and that is where we are able to help.
With a proven track record in recovering debts owed to our clients, and with highly competitive fees, we guarantee an exceptional quality of legal service.
Range of costs for a business to business debt that is undisputed
These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed, and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which will likely be on an hourly rate.
Our hourly rates (excluding VAT) are:
|Legal Assistant||Trainee Solicitor||Senior Legal Assistant||Solicitor||Senior Solicitor||Head of Group|
The work we do includes:
- Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation.
- Undertaking appropriate searches.
- Sending a letter of claim.
- Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim.
- Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default.
- When Judgment in default is received, writing to the other side to request payment.
- If payment is not received within 7 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs.
|Debt Value||Court fee||Our fee (Hourly)||Estimated Timescale (Hours)||Total|
|Up to £5,000||£35-£205||£44-£150||1-5||£79-£955|
|£10,000.01- £100,000||5% value of the claim||£44-£150||1-30||5% value of the claim + £44-£4500*|
To calculate 5% of the value of the claim, take the amount you’re claiming and multiply it by 0.05. If necessary, round down the result to the nearest 1p. The breakdown of the court fees is dependent on the debt value and can be found below. Please note that other fees may apply in relation to your matter, more information on which can be found at GOV.UK: Fees In the Civil and Family Courts.
Matters usually take 9-10 weeks but can in certain circumstances take up to 6 months, depending on if your case goes to trial. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses. This would be from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgment in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.
When making a court claim for money and non-money claims, civil court fees will apply. Please refer to the GOV.UK website to find out which of these fees would apply to you and how to pay them. The court fees set out in this leaflet apply to, and are the same in, both the High Court and the County Court.
If you know the claim amount
The court fees below are for money claims, and are based on the amount you’re claiming, plus interest:
|Debt Value||Court fee|
|Up to £300||£35|
|£300.01 to £500||£50|
|£500.01 to £1,000||£70|
|£1,000.01 to £1,500||£80|
|£1,500.01 to £3,000||£115|
|£3,000.01 to £5,000||£205|
|£5,000.01 to £10,000||£455|
|£10,000.01 to £100,000||5% of the claim|
Which fee you need to pay
You’ll need to estimate the amount you’re claiming and pay the paper form fee for that amount.
Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:
- The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
- Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
- The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt. If enforcement action is needed, it will incur further costs. These costs will be discussed with you prior to proceeding.