Whether you are an individual or an employer, one of your main concerns in deciding whether to instruct us, will be the question – how much will it cost?
The first consultation will be by telephone and will be completely free of charge. During this initial consultation we will advise you generally on your legal position and will inform you of the various charging options which may be available to you should you wish to instruct us.
We charge an hourly rate for the work we do for you. We charge a highly competitive rate of £198 plus VAT an hour, despite the lawyers having the conduct of your case all having nearly 30 years’ experience. This means that you are receiving the best possible service at a discounted rate. VAT is currently charged at a rate of 20%.
All time is recorded so you are charged only for the work which is done and you will be provided with copies of the time records should you require them.
We shall also provide you with regular invoices (usually monthly) so that you are aware of the costs being incurred as the case progresses.
If we are acting for you in a tribunal claim, it can cost in the region of £7,500 to £8,000 for a wrongful dismissal or an unfair dismissal claim and between £10,000 to £12,000 for discrimination claims. These figures are preliminary estimates only. Costs could be higher or lower than this estimate. This will depend upon how the case progresses and how complex the case is. Costs will be less if the case settles early.
Factors which impact on the above fee estimates and increase costs include the following:
- the complexity of the issues
- the value of the claim
- the volume of documents
- the number of claimants and whether they are legally represented
- the number of respondents and whether they are legally represented
- the number of witnesses
- whether it is necessary to make or oppose applications for orders from the Tribunal
- the number of preliminary hearings ahead of the final hearing
- any subsequent remedy hearing if required.
The cost of representing you in an Employment Tribunal claim could be less than the preliminary estimates given above if the case settles early or if the case does not proceed to the final hearing for any reason.
The above also illustrates that the costs could be significantly higher, depending upon the facts of the case.
The above preliminary estimates anticipate the following key stages in a tribunal claim:
- Taking initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising on merits, weaknesses and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change).
- Preparing and filing a claim and/or a response.
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from the other party.
- Preparing the schedule of losses and/or considering and advising on the claimant’s schedule of loss.
- Preparing for and/or attending preliminary hearing.
- Exploring settlement as and when appropriate throughout the process.
- Collating and considering relevant documents and exchanging documents
- Considering and advising on the other side’s documents.
- Agreeing and preparing a bundle of documents for the Final Hearing.
- Taking, preparing/drafting and exchanging witness statements and considering and advising on the content of the other side’s statement(s).
- Agreeing a list of issues to be decided by the Tribunal at the final hearing, a chronology and/or cast list where appropriate.
- Preparation for and attendance at Final Hearing and advising on outcome. Instructing Counsel to attend the hearing if deemed appropriate.
If any of the above steps are not necessary, costs could be less than the estimates provided above.
Disbursements are expenses related to your case which are payable to third parties. Tribunal fees have been abolished but they may be re-introduced in the future.
Other likely disbursements in tribunal claims are experts’ fees and barristers’ fees. The amount a barrister charges will depend upon his seniority and the complexity of your case and these would be agreed with you in advance.
The time that it takes from taking initial instructions to the final hearing and/or resolution of a matter depends largely on the stage at which the case is resolved. If, for example, a settlement is reached during before the issue of the claim, the case is likely to take four to six 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.
If the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, then its likely duration depends how complex the issues are and how long the hearing is estimated to last and/or when it can be listed by the Employment Tribunal. For example, a simple wrongful dismissal claim with a time estimate of half a day is likely to take around three to four months to complete. In contrast, a complex unfair or constructive dismissal claim or a discrimination claim scheduled to be heard over three or more days could take 12 months or more to conclude.
This is illustrative only and we can give more accurate timescales when we have more information as the matter progresses.
Legal Expenses Insurance
You may have an insurance policy under which your insurer may be liable to cover your legal costs in this matter, provided that they are satisfied that your claim has more than 50% chances of success. We therefore recommend that you check your insurance policies. We will discuss this with you in free preliminary consultation. This form of insurance is known as legal expenses insurance cover and is often provided within your home insurance policy. This will usually provide a limit of cover between £25,000 and £50,000 for legal fees in employment disputes.
The cover may provide that you should instruct the insurer’s panel solicitor. However, you are in fact entitled to instruct a solicitor of your choice from the date an ACAS Conciliation Certificate is issued. We will guide you through this process.
Capped or Fixed Fees
In some cases, we offer clients a method of funding their claim by way of capped or fixed fees whereby we agree in advance a fixed fee for particular stages of your claim. This method has the advantage of you knowing precisely how much you will have to pay in advance. These arrangements are agreed with clients on a case by case basis.
If you are an employer and chose to take a retainer with us, we will offer you preferential rates.
Experience of the Solicitors who will carry out the Work
We are very experienced and specialist employment lawyers and each have almost 30 years’ experience.