Our charges are calculated mainly by reference to the time spent by the solicitor and other members of the firm who may be asked to assist in dealing with this matter. This includes advising, attending on you and others, dealing with papers, correspondence, telephone calls, travelling and waiting time and representing you at hearings if appropriate.
The charge rate is based on the solicitor’s hourly rate of £310 plus vat (accurate as at 01.06.2019). The rates are reviewed annually in March of each year and we reserve the right to increase the hourly rate. We will however notify you of this prior to the increase date and give you an opportunity to discuss the increase. The hourly rate is based on a solicitor with 25 years plus qualified experience.
We set out estimated costs in bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal, we have provided some information below. Please remember that this relates to a typical case as described – your own case may be simpler or more complex.
The work in relation to the key stages of a claim are as follows:
- 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 early conciliation with ACAS to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
- Preparing claim (for the employee this means drafting and submitting the claim form which outlines the case and the nature of the dispute) or response (for the employer this means drafting the response form when a claim has been made);
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party;
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
- Preparing (if acting for the employee) or considering (if acting for the employer) a schedule of loss (a detailed statement of the losses that the employee has incurred to date and thereafter assessing future losses);
- Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing or a Case Management Conference (very often an employment tribunal will hold a preliminary hearing (“PH”) to organise the future progress of the case to clarify what the issues are and perhaps to dismiss (“strike out”) any of the employee’s claims which it finds to be weak. It will also be used as to timetable dates and how long the hearing should take);
- 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 (who is attending the tribunal hearing);
- Meeting with the barrister to discuss the claim prior to the Final Hearing;
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including briefing the barrister.
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. If additional steps are needed the fee would increase. 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.
The following matters are not covered:
- Any appeals made at the Employment Appeal Tribunal;
- Any Court fees; currently there are no Employment Tribunal fees to be paid to bring or defend a claim, however if the law changes on this point we reserve the right to amend our fees;
- Any other employment claim or response, stand alone or otherwise;
- Disputed employment status;
- Additional conferences with your barrister (these are typically for medium to high complex cases);
- Any fees/costs for engaging experts e.g. translators, medical, IT experts;
- Travel time;
- Judicial mediation/Alternative Dispute Resolution;
- Insurance liaison.
What makes a case 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 employees representing themselves/without legal representation;
- Bringing of defending claims with more than one element in dispute e.g. unfair and wrongful dismissal;
- Making or defending a costs application;
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant (employee) is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
- The number of witnesses and documents;
- The other party failing to follow to the Tribunal’s directions/orders;
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if the employee is dismissed after blowing the whistle on their employer;
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to dismissal;
- If the employee wins their claim but the employer fails to pay the compensation awarded to the employee and further action is required to recover the monies;
- Reasonableness of the parties to comply with Court orders, to respond to correspondence on time and in general to act reasonably in their handling of the case;
- Excess communications between the parties, their solicitors and third parties (if applicable);
- Conflicting instructions given to us;
- If the employee loses their claim and wishes to make an application to the Tribunal to reconsider the decision.
1. Simple case: £17,500 - £20,500 (excluding VAT)
Typically 1-2 days in the Employment Tribunal
No more than one witness for each party
Less than 25 documents per party
2. Medium complexity case: £20,500 - £37,000 (excluding VAT)
3. High complexity case: £37,000 + (excluding VAT)
The above is a general guidance of our costs and the likely steps that will be required; We will of course provide you with a bespoke cost estimate once we have a clearer understanding of your matter.
If we need to instruct experts, we will discuss their costs with you in advance and obtain your approval to incur these additional costs. Examples of expert costs are:
- Occupational Health Reports,
- Medical Reports including prognosis of recovery to calculate loss of earnings in the interim.
Where required, barrister’s fees are estimated between £1,800 - £3,500 plus VAT per day (depending on experience of the barrister) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).
Travel expenses to the tribunal and to meetings.
Currently there are no Employment Tribunal fees to be paid to bring or defend a claim. However if such fees are introduced by the Government, then they would be payable in addition.