CLOSEClose International Edition Menu

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Employment lawyers are predicting a surge of claims being brought under conditional fee arrangements (CFAs) following changes to the law which this week raised the maximum award for unfair dismissal in employment tribunals to £50,000.The changes came into force on Monday (25 October) as part of the Employment Relations Act.The previous £12,000 cap is thought to have acted as a major bar to CFAs, as typical legal costs for a claimant of around £5,000 would leave little left for claimants after the uplifted legal bill is taken into account.It is also believed that the spread of CFAs will lead to an increase in claims by staff against employers who would previously have been put off by the prohibitive cost of a court battle.Other measures being enacted under the new Employment Relations Act include the removal of compensation limits for staff dismissed for whistleblowing in the public interest and the abolition of fixed-term contract waivers, which had prevented trainees from suing employers that do not employ them following an apprenticeship.Georgina Keane, employment head at Richards Butler, told Legal Week that the £50,000 limit would have a “dynamic” effect on the use of CFAs in employment disputes.Fraser Younson, an employment partner at McDermott Will & Emery, said: “The short and sharp answer is that there are going to be more cases brought and more cases fought.”The move comes as CFAs are expected to become more common in court litigation. A case taken on by Richards Butler last year involved a claim for half a million pounds. It is understood that another firm has agreed to handle a claim for as much as £3m.

This premium content is reserved for International Subscribers.


  • Customized news by region including UK, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, and North America
  • Cutting-edge research such as UK Top 100, China 45, and Asia 50
  • Get the inside track on the biggest breaking stories that delve deep into the issues behind the headlines
  • Comprehensive coverage of the dynamic legal market from people moves to the major international jurisdictions
  • Global view into how legal tech, business of law, in-house and regulatory environments are intersecting worldwide

Already a subscriber? International Newsletters & Briefings

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

Sign up for an unlimited number of complementary newsletters, alerts, and International Briefings. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 American Lawyer Media International, LLC. All Rights Reserved.