The information below does not represent a quote or a fee estimate, which we can provide on request. We are required for regulatory reasons to give you an indication of the potential range of our costs for conducting or defending a claim of unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. Other claims involving discrimination or whistle-blowing tend to be more involved and will be more expensive.
In the first instance, you should check any insurance policy you have and also be aware that you are unlikely to recoverany costs incurred from your opponent.
We do not work on a conditional fee basis or use a damages based agreement and do not offer a free interview or initial consultation.
We charge for our advice on a time spent basis using hourly rates which are normally £250 per hour Any figures mentioned are exclusive of VAT at 20%.
Rachel Felstead of this firm will be carrying out most of the work. She is an employment lawyer with over 20 years post qualification experience.
Key factors which influence costs
The factor which normally has the greatest impact on overall costs is the point at which a claim is resolved. For example, if a negotiated settlement is reached quickly, costs will bemuch lower than a claim which requires a full hearing.
In addition, the following factors can make a case more complex, which in turn increases costs:
- The number of parties named in the litigation
- Applications to amend claims
- Providing further information about an existing claim
- Your opponent is not legally represented
- Legal issues requiring a preliminary hearing(s)
- Expert evidence is required
- Amount and nature of loss claimed
- Approach taken by your opponent
- Quantity of documentation
- Number of witnesses
- Hearing duration
- Automatic unfair dismissal is alleged
- Other legal claims are involved or a counterclaim is lodged
- A costs application
The key stages of most claims are:
- Taking initial instructions
- Reviewing documents
- Advice on merits and likely compensation
- Pre-claim conciliation
- Preparing the claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from your opponent
- Settlement negotiations
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
- Preparing for and attending any preliminary hearings
- Exchanging documents with your opponent
- Reviewing your opponent’s disclosed documents
- Filing any applications with the Employment Tribunal
- Agreeing a bundle of documents for the hearing
- Preparing witness statements
- Reviewing your opponent’s witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Corresponding with you, your opponent and the Employment Tribunal
- Instructing a barrister and corresponding with them
- Preparation and attendance at Employment Tribunal hearing
- Concluding matters such as a remedy hearing
This is not an exhaustive list and other tasks may be required. You may also undertake some of these tasks yourself, which would normally reduce our costs. This is an option we are happy to discuss with you.
An indication of potential fees
Below we have set out an indication of the costs for some of the main stages of a claim:
- Preparation of claim or defence £1,500 – £4,000
- Considering opponent’s claim or defence £500 – £1,000
- Preparing lists of documents £1,000 – £8,000
- Reviewing your opponent’s documents £1,000 – £7,000
- Preparing witness statement(s) £1,500 – £10,000
- Considering your opponent’s witness statement(s) £500 – £3,000
- Preparation of bundle(s) for hearing, which may include creation of an electronic bundle £1,000 – £3,000
- Drafting a schedule of loss £500 – £1,000
- Instructing a barrister £500 – £1,000
- Attending meeting with a barrister to discuss the case £1,500 – £3,000
- Our attendance at Employment Tribunal hearing per day £1,600 – £2,500
There will be further work undertaken for which it is not possible to indicate likely fees in advance of being instructed, such as corresponding with you, your opponent and the Employment Tribunal. This work is charged to you on a time spent basis using the hourly rates set out above.
We will usually instruct a barrister (a specialist advocate) to represent you at the Employment Tribunal hearing. Barrister’s fees are additional to our charges and are linked to their experience, the complexity of the case, the hearing duration and their level of involvement before the hearing. We will normally suggest several names, set out the costs and then discuss with you.
You may also be charged extra for expenses such as bulk photocopying, courier fees and travel costs and any VAT which is applicable. These costs will be listed separately on your invoice.
Currently, many hearings are taking place remotely. This cuts travelling time and the costs of travelling, and electronic bundles also cuts the cost of photocopying. We are in favour of many of these changes, particularly remote hearings for short or preliminary hearings. However, we are less in favour of full hearings being held remotely for various reasons. A full discussion will take place with you to discuss the merits of either type of hearing, should you be offered a choice by the tribunal.
The time taken from your initial instructions to the final resolution of the claim depends on a number of factors. Some of these, such as the availability of witnesses and hearing dates, are outside of our control.
As an indication, from filing a claim to an Employment Tribunal judgement can take between 12-18 months and in some cases longer than this. However, many cases are resolved by a settlement quicker than this.We will give you a more accurate timescale if we are instructed and then as the claim progresses.
We charge a minimum fee of £500 for advice on settlement agreements. However, often the charge will be higher if the arrangement involves complex matters such as pensions and shareholdings. We will do our best to give you an estimate of fees at the outset of the matter. Please note that it is normal for employers to pay for advice given to their employees (or most of it) in these circumstances and we can make this request on your behalf.