The Solicitors Regulation Authority recently required all law firms to provide some guidance on our website about the firm’s charges when acting for employers and employees in relation to Employment Tribunal claims.In keeping with most law firms which specialise in this area of work, we do not offer a fixed fee agreement for acting for employers and employees in pursuing or defending claims in the Employment Tribunal.
Our charges for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal very much depend on numerous factors to include: the complexity of the case, the value of the claim, the number of parties / witnesses and the nature of the factual dispute.
At the outset of our instructions we shall provide you with details of the hourly rates charged by our specialist lawyers which we believe to be competitive to firms with equivalent expertise. We will provide tailored costs estimates when we are in a position to properly understand the nature of our case and the work which will be required. We will review costs on an interim basis and provide updated or revised costs estimates as and when the nature of the case requires it.
As a very basic guide and without having any prior information relating to your particular circumstances, we can only provide here a broad range of likely costs and charges so as to satisfy the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and having regard to our experience of dealing with these matters.
|£750 to £15,000 (excluding VAT)
|Medium complexity case
|£5,000 to £20,000 (excluding VAT)
|High complexity case
|£15,000 to £75,000 (excluding VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
- Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties) or arguments relating to the identity of the employer
- The number of witnesses and documents
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing based on the solicitor’s hourly rate which will be notified to you at the outset of your instructions. Usually, our charges for a full day’s attendance at the Tribunal will be £1,250 to £2,500 plus VAT depending on the nature of the case and the experience of the solicitor attending.
Generally, we would allow 1 to 7 days depending on the complexity of your case.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees and counsel’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Counsel's fees are estimated at between £750 plus VAT to £3,000 plus VAT per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).
The charges set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
- Preparing claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
- Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
- Preparing bundle of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
- The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced.
You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 2 to 4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 12 to 36 weeks. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.