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Employee Advocacy

Legal Aid and No Win, No Fee

I am an approved legal aid provider. To be eligible for legal aid services, you must earn less than the income threshold, and you must have no more than $3,500 in savings (or $5,000 if you have a spouse or partner, or 1 or more dependent children). Some applicants are required to repay their legal aid costs: this will depend on your own financial circumstances, and any assets you own. If you believe you may be eligible, please contact me: we can at least make an application and find out more for you.

Otherwise, read more about my "No Win, No Fee" options below.

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Initial Advice

FREE

I provide free initial advice to all potential clients. I will provide you with the tools you need to resolve the employment relationship yourself. I understand that there are many reasons you may not want to get a legal representative involved. 

I aim to empower you to be your own advocate. I am not the gatekeeper of knowledge. 

I act as a "safety net" while you navigate the process yourself, and if you need a hand you can engage me on a "No Win, No Fee" basis at any of the stages below.

Representation During Employment

From $750 + GST

I understand the dilemma when you're faced with termination of your employment. On the one hand, you feel you need legal representation. However, on the other hand, you could potentially lose your job and you need to save every penny.

That's why I've introduced an upfront fixed-fee of $750 + GST for representation during employment matters. There are no hidden costs. 

These fees may increase depending on the nature of the matter. However, all fixed-fees will be discussed with you prior to commencing representation.

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Personal Grievance

The lesser of 33% or $2,000 + GST

A personal grievance is a letter which outlines your claims in accordance with section 103 of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

I will raise a quality personal grievance within the 90-day time period, which articulates your legal claims and highlights your interests. I will be your voice.

If I resolve your dispute after raising the personal grievance, but before attending mediation, the fee will be the lesser of:

  • 33% of the total settlement amount; or

  • $2,000 + GST.


This category is also appropriate for other formal claims which carry financial remedies; such as breach of Holidays Act 2003, breach of Minimum Wage Act 1983, breach of Wages Protection Act 1983, breach of the Individual Employment Agreement, etc.

Mediation

The lesser of 33% or $4,000 + GST

I act quickly to progress your claim to mediation; whether that be by agreement from your employer, or following an application to the Employment Relations Authority.

Mediation services is a free service provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It provides a confidential and 'without prejudice' forum for the parties to discuss the legal issues, and to explore resolution options. 

Most employment relationship problems will resolve at mediation, and there is virtually no risk of liability in progressing to mediation. It is a good forum to take your claims.

If I am successful in resolving the matter at mediation, the fee will be the lesser of:

  • 33% of the total settlement amount; or

  • $4,000 + GST.


Note that you may be asked to reimburse the $71.56 filing fee if I am required to apply to the Employment Relations Authority to progress the matter.

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Employment Relations Authority

OPTION ONE: Costs awarded at the ERA

If your employment relationship problem did not resolve either through informal settlement negotiations, or by attending mediation, you may choose to progress your claim to the Employment Relations Authority. 

The first option is to continue on a "No Win, No Fee" basis. If you are successful at the Employment Relations Authority, a member will issue a separate cost determination; compelling your employer to pay your legal fees. 

Unlike other "No Win, No Fee" advocates, I do not seek any further fees. You lost your employment. You were hurt and humiliated. These are your remedies to compensate you. Not me.

However, if you are unsuccessful at the Employment Relations Authority, you will likely be required to contribute to your employers legal fees. Understandably, this is a daunting outcome, and many clients choose not to progress past mediation to the Investigation Meeting for this reason.

Employment Relations Authority

OPTION TWO: Legal Aid

Legal aid is income and asset tested, and depending on your situation you may be required to repay the fees incurred in progressing your claim. 

If you are successful at the Employment Relations Authority, I will make submissions to have your legal aid fees recovered from your employer as part of the costs determination.

Legal aid is a great option if you are concerned about the possibility of losing at the Employment Relations Authority. Traditionally, where an employee is represented by legal aid, the Employment Relations Authority has significantly reduced, or completely eliminated, the requirement for applicants to pay the other party's legal fees. 


However, you may be required to repay the legal aid fees to the Ministry of Justice. The fees payable (if any) are determined after considering your income and assets, and may be paid-off in accordance with a payment plan.

In this option, I am paid directly by the Ministry of Justice for the representation I provide you. In transparency, this is not a lucrative option for advocates: with only one legal aid provider progressing a claim to the Employment Relations Authority in 2019. However, I am motivated to use my legal aid status to promote access to justice.

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