Time Stamped Show Notes:
21s: Andy Price from the PCU is here to understand how Truth Legal works and the PCU agreement. He was helping a family member with an employment issue and came across Truth Legal. He liked their ethos and their way of working so he got in touch with Andrew. Anyone who wants to join the PCU can.
2mins: Truth Legal will give legal advice to the members and their families and PCU officials. The PCU will promote their member’s work on Truth Legal’s website and the PCU will do things to help Truth Legal. We are exploring the mutual benefits of working together.
2mins 45s: When a PCU member wants legal advice, how will they access it? I was a trade union lawyer for 4 years in Leeds. We will get to be on a first name basis, and they can give us a call or email and we will hopefully get in touch pretty quickly. If there is a matter for the offices themselves, we will charge it to the union. It would be about £75+VAT per hour.
4mins 55s: Family members of the PCU will be able to access advice – how does that work? The union and its offices will enjoy more preferential terms than the members and the members more than their family members. There will be a section on our website which you can say if you are a member or a family member and if it’s ok to check their credentials with the union. We are a litigious firm predominantly acting for employees.
6mins 41s: What is No Win, No Fee? It is the normal way in personal injury law of lawyers representing their clients. The client doesn’t have to pay anything unless they win their case, what they do pay comes out of their compensation. The maximum they have to pay is a quarter of their compensation but only of their past losses. So, if someone gets £4,000 for their injury and they’ve made a full recovery, they would receive £3,000 at the end of their case. If someone had a case worth £100,000 but a lot of that was future losses and their past losses were only worth £20,000, most law firms would take a quarter of the £20,000. So, the injured person would receive £95,000. For PCU members, we are making sure the fees for this are lower.
9mis 7s: For employment law, we offer No Win, No Fee. We will always deduct 35% of the value of any settlement or claim to pay the legal fees. So, if someone obtained £10,000 at trial, we would be paid £3,500 inc VAT. The claimant would have to pay for disbursements eg. Barristers. For PCU members, we would also offer No Win, No Fee and we would offer a lower fee of 30%. Hourly rated work can sometimes be more beneficial for the claimant though, particularly if it is settled early on. If the union had a fund for the barrister’s fees, that could help a lot.
12mins 56s: Will Truth Legal be asking for successful cases to be published on the website? Yes, but we will be adhering to confidentiality and only if the member is ok with it being published.
15mins 9s: If a member of ours is represented by their insurance company and the member asks the union for further legal advice, if we ask you for advice, is there a conflict? We are competent with regulatory questions. Our normal questions are to do with someone being fired, discriminated against, blowing the whistle etc. We would need to read up on it, but it is quite straight forward. If the union asks us, then we would give you our response and we would bill the union. If the member has solicitors who say something and we say something different, that wouldn’t be a conflict. We tend to rank top for switch solicitor cases and getting a second opinion is sensible.
18mins 36s: Are union members able to blog on the website? I love the synergy of what we do, you spend your working day working with distressed people and so do we, we both want to help people. We get about 1,200 people a day on our website and we have a Polish site as well. We’ve had barristers write about employment cases, we have a student section for students to write blogs. We are looking for good work out of it too, but we are raising people’s profiles. We have clients who have EMDR and you have people who specialise in that, it would be helpful to have a podcast or a blog or vlog explaining what it is. If your members really like writing and it’s helpful to the world, then we will take their content.
If you have any questions, go through the Google groups or contact one of the committee members, we’d love to hear what you think.