The excellent Employment Tribunal Claims blog (which I shall now belatedly add to my blogroll), has performed some analysis on the frequency and amount of costs orders in the tribunals.
In summary, they report that the percentage of cases which proceed to a full hearing that result in a costs order against the Claimant is less than 1%, and that the majority of these are for figures significantly less than Â£1,000.
Of course, the statistic we can never know is in how many cases that proceed to a hearing is a warning on costs issued by the Respondent’s representative? Somewhat higher methinks…
If you are in person and on the receiving end of a letter warning you of a costs application, perhaps accompanied by some terrifying schedule, then treat it as a warning to do what you should be doing at all times – taking an objective look at your case to see if there is a prospect of success. If your claim is one that might succeed, and your conduct of the litigation has been reasonable, then the very broad view is that you don’t need to worry too much about costs.