Preparation time orders

Preparation time orders compensate a non-legally represented party where additional time has been incurred because of the behaviour of their opponent.


This can cover the time of a party themselves, their employees or other non-legal representative.  Time of a legal representative can be included if they are not acting at the final hearing or at the time the case ends.


Only time spent in preparation for a hearing is compensated - not for the hearing itself.


The grounds on which a preparation time order can be made are:

  • The parties claim is 'misconceived' i.e. it has no reasonable prospect of success
  • The party has acted vexatiously, abusively, disruptively or otherwise unreasonably in bringing or conducting the proceedings
  • A hearing has to be postponed due to the fault of a party.


Up to £20,000 can be awarded under a preparation time order.


The hourly rate for orders is £32.00 per hour from 6 April 2012.


An Employment Tribunal will assess what time it is reasonable and proportionate to spend on the matter and multiply the number or hours by the current hourly rate.


The Employment tribunal may take into account the means of the paying party when making a preparation time order but it does not have to.

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