To claim expenses from someone I'm helping..

(34 Posts)
HappyGirlNow Thu 07-Feb-13 20:37:45

I'm acting as a witness for an ex-colleague I was friendly with in his divorce case. Basically, we worked in the same job a few years ago and while he left work to be a stay at home dad, I progressed further up the career ladder. What he is trying to prove in court is loss of career and earnings because he became the stay at home parent in the marriage.

My employers only allow unpaid time for witness service. I've discussed with my friend's lawyer and he said that my friend would be responsible for reimbursing me.

AIBU to ask to be reimbursed? It's well over £100 for the day and I have lots to pay at the moment as we've just moved house. My partner inferred that maybe I should just do my friend a favour and now I feel tight. I will also have travelling to pay and wouldn't ask for anything towards that. Am I being tight?

ZillionChocolate Sat 09-Feb-13 10:16:25

If giving evidence was inconvenient for witnesses then I would see if there was a way around it. It doesn't sound as though your evidence is likely to be all that controversial, so it's just about possible it could be agreed.

Yfronts is exceedingly generous to give up a day's pay for a beer. I wouldn't for someone I wasn't close to.

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 10:42:34

Thanks RedHelen.. I know, but they must think it's worth it?

I've gone back to his solicitor and given him a figure for lost earnings and he's said he'll speak to my friend and see how he wants to proceed. I feel a bit funny about this I suppose. Firstly, I just feel funny mentioning money, but secondly it'll be funny to see what they come back with - if they come back and say they don't require me anymore - what does that say? That my testimony is worthwhile as long as its only me losing out financially but not them? Hmm..

RedHelenB Fri 08-Feb-13 10:33:45

BTW, usually I am in the do someone a favour camp but this does seem a bit unreasonable, a bit differrent if you were his boss!

RedHelenB Fri 08-Feb-13 10:32:30

i really can't see the need to attend! Just cos you got a promotion doesn't automatically prove he was due one & he surely has old wage slips to prove what he was working & when & a P60 to show his earnings?

I would just offer to send a signed statement - I really don't see how your two penorth will massively help him tbh & you are going to be out of pocket & havinga day away from a job that you don't need to take.

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 10:23:38

Thanks Yfronts, I'm in a real quandary hmm

Yfronts Fri 08-Feb-13 09:53:49

I wouldn't if it was for a friend. Ask him to buy you a beer after?

senua Fri 08-Feb-13 09:29:52

Here's a thought. What if the case was adjourned to a later date. Or your presence was required for more than one day? shock

I think, seeing as he is argung over loss of earnings, then you have every right to ask for recompense for your loss of earnings. Let his solicitor know your situation: they may be thinking that you - the one with the career - is more loaded than you really are. Put the facts in front of them and see what solution they come up with.

MistyB Fri 08-Feb-13 09:27:35

If you have already had the discussion with your friends lawyer, then just put the expense claim through the lawyer. You do not need to have the discussion with your friend but it might make it easier to mention it to him, along the lines of, 'your lawyer has asked me for details of my out of pocket expenses', just so it does not come as a surprise.

IMO, you are doing a good thing for your friend and hopefully in the bigger scheme of things, someone will do something to help you out one day. I usually find it is not the people you help who are in a position to help you in return but having something in the Karma bank makes you feel better about accepting help from others in the future. (I hope your friend remembers to say Thanks, even if he is having a stressful time!)

Allalonenow Fri 08-Feb-13 09:15:27

If you were being employed as an expert witness in a case you would certainly get a hefty fee expenses etc, this is no different really, he is using your experience to support his financial claim, so of course he should pay you.

DeepRedBetty Fri 08-Feb-13 09:07:26

I think you should ask for all the costs to be reimbursed, both travel and loss of earnings - after all, this whole case is about lost earnings really isn't it!

Speak to his solicitor - you could start it by saying 'Hi I've rung to give you the details of who to make the cheque payable to for my expenses when the hearing takes place next xxx. I'm losing £x pay and travel costs are £y, so that's £x+y altogether...'

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 08:59:38

Thank you zillion - I would presume so - not looking forward to it..

And thank you too don't even - I didn't think so either until my partner put doubts in my head! confused

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Fri 08-Feb-13 08:35:33

There is nothing tight in asking to be reimbursed. He should have offered.

ZillionChocolate Fri 08-Feb-13 08:32:38

Your statement presumably supports his case. You can't know whether your attendance will help or not, that's the risk he takes in relying on you.

I imagine that her lawyers don't agree your statement which is why you have to attend. They probably want to cross examine you.

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 08:29:57

Thanks ninja - I don't know, I'm assuming his lawyer knows what he's doing... And I have thought that, if my statement makes a difference he'll presumably make a reasonable financial gain from it..

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 08:28:11

Hi zillion, yes it is in the UK. It won't cost a lot to travel, only about £20ish but money is very tight. We just bought a house and had to find an extra £8k deposit after mortgage comment reduced offer from mortgage in principle. Plus I've only had £350 pay since December as I've just changed jobs and had to take some time off in between and new company doesn't pay until 15th Feb so will take a couple of months to find my feet again.

Lost pay would be about £125 net and no I wouldn't give him that as cash.

Thank you for your input.

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Feb-13 08:24:26

Why on earth would you need to attend?

Either way, he's obviously doing this for his own financial gain, he's paying the lawyer, why shouldn't he pay you?

Speculate to accumulate.

ZillionChocolate Fri 08-Feb-13 08:20:17

If you wouldn't give him £100 cash then I wouldn't lose £100 of pay for him. Same goes for any expensive travel. It's his choice to rely on you as a witness. I'd contact his lawyer and say you are reluctant to attend as it will cause you to lose a day's pay so you would be looking to reclaim that. Ask whether there's any chance your statement would be agreed.

Is this case in the UK?

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 08:07:59

Thanks everyone, really appreciate the views here. I think if the shoe was on the other foot I'd be making sure that whoever was helping me wasn't out of pocket too much. I just can't use a holiday as my employer is tight on them and I've a lot of commitments this year where i need a holiday, they're basically all allocated. I'd rather not be acting as a witness at all but felt I should do this favour.

Gingerodgers Fri 08-Feb-13 01:16:53

Tell him you can't afford to lose a days pay just now. Then he can decide whether or not to offer you the money, if he doesn't, then he will understand that you won't be able to attend.

YANBU my DH brings home around £100 perday & we definitely couldn't afford to lose it & his leave is tight. So the comment up thread about you being able to afford to lose one day's pay is rude & presumptuous.

wineandroses Fri 08-Feb-13 00:03:04

I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect to be reimbursed for your lost wages and travel costs (why should you use a holiday day, as someone suggests?). You are doing this guy a serious favour by agreeing to be involved in his court case. No one should expect you to be out of pocket. If you are embarrassed to discuss it with him, then prepare a note of your expenses and give it to his solicitor, asking when you can expect to be paid. Don't feel bad about this, it really is not unreasonable at all.

HappyGirlNow Thu 07-Feb-13 23:09:44

Any more opinions gratefully received grin

HappyGirlNow Thu 07-Feb-13 22:09:41

Thanks all. We were quite friendly and have had slight contact over the years but I haven't even seen him in over 4 years and I'm already doing him a favour (it's taken up time already as I have had to have dealings with his lawyer and I need to spend more time discussing with the lawyer before the case goes to court, plus the time on the day, plus the cost of my travelling..) And I didn't feel it was unreasonable not to want to be significantly out of pocket too.. I'm normally a generous person but this just seemed a bit much tbh.

whois Thu 07-Feb-13 21:52:47

Oh defo claim expenses. Of he wins it will be of more benefit to him than the £100! It's a cowhide you were friendly with, not a 'BFF'.

HollyBerryBush Thu 07-Feb-13 21:50:23

Dont do it.

Send a witness statement.

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