Finding your way through the labyrinth of employment law can be complicated and overwhelming. Our specialist solicitors will guide you to the most positive outcome possible.
Constantly changing employment legislation and complicated procedures can make employment law a significant challenge for staff and employers alike.
An employment claim that goes before a full hearing of the tribunal, having passed through the necessary stages to get that far can cost anything from £5,000 to £50,000 plus VAT depending on the complexity of the case.
The vast majority of such claims settle before ever they reach a tribunal.
A settled case has the benefit of finality whereas an employment tribunal decision can be appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and further to the Court of Appeal and possibly the Supreme Court. Presently there is also the potential of references to the European Court of Justice. All of these are likely to push up the ceiling figure of £50,000 plus VAT.
The vast majority of our contentious cases therefore result in a settlement usually within a budget of £3,000 plus VAT and disbursements. There may be ways of funding your case, which we can discuss with you.
In some, but not all, cases we will offer you our services as advocates otherwise counsel’s fees will be charged as disbursements. Key stages of such a claim where you must consider the risks of not winning your case against the possible benefits of winning and the cost involved in achieving this include:
- 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 when this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
- Preparing claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on claim and 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 case list;
- Preparation and attendance at final hearing, including instructions to counsel if required.
The stages set out above are an indication and where some 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 is obviously a lot cheaper and can be arranged on an individual basis.
- An hourly rate range of £180 – £285 plus VAT
- Fixed fee arrangements are available
- A fee (disbursement) payable to Counsel may be applicable and, in a straightforward case, this fee may be £1,500 – £2,000 including VAT
Contact Dermott Thomas for more information.
How long will my matter take?
The time it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter, if resolved, depends on at what stage you push to achieve a settlement and whether the other side is willing to talk, but if heard in the tribunal typically takes about 9 months from filing papers at the tribunal.
We have set out above information on pricing for a typical unfair dismissal claim however the tribunals hear all manner of claims apart from the typical unfair dismissal claims and those are individually negotiated.
Additionally the cost charges in tribunals are affected by factors beyond the control of either you or us, such as:
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim;
- Defendant claims that are brought by litigants in person;
- Making or defending a cost application;
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the party is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
- 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.
Most cases of Unfair Dismissal are capable of being dealt with at tribunal in a day, however others can last up to ten or twelve days, and both counsel and we will charge a fee for cancellations on short notice by either yourselves or the tribunal.