Employment - Our fees and services

Services in relation to bringing or defending an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal

We believe in ensuring quality in our services and aim to ensure that the funding of your case is cost-efficient and entirely transparent.  We thrive in providing you with dedication to your case but we understand that the costs of your case will be important to you and to those involved in your case. It is important that you are fully aware of how much you will need to pay.   We will always agree costs in advance of any particular case once we have had an opportunity to assess the issues and the level of work and assistance required.  We will take time to agree the costs with you by understanding you, your case and the work involved.  However, in order to provide a good estimate of the sort of level of fee you will pay (whether that be an agreed fee or a range of the costs involved in a typical case) if you were to instruct us, we have set out on our website a breakdown of our standard charges for bringing or defending claims in the Employment Tribunal, either a claim for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal .  There may be other costs that you would need to pay over and above our fees and we aim to provide information of those in addition.  Our aim is to enable you to have a good understanding of what it may cost you overall.  

In some areas of work, you may also have the benefit of other sources of funding such as legal expenses insurance or funding through a trade union or other representative.  Please do not hesitate to contact us to explore your options.

Type of fee arrangements offered

We charge on a time basis at hourly rates.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT @ 20% has to be added to our fees and some expenses or disbursements.

Who provides the service?

This work is undertaken by our employment team as set out to the right of this screen

All employment team members are supervised by Kay Hewitt who is a solicitor.

Basis of our fees

This work would be charged at an hourly rate of £170 (plus VAT @ 20% (£34)(total £204).

The exact number of hours it will take will depend on the circumstances in your case. Relevant factors could include:

  • The level of advisor needed.  Ordinarily, we would need to use the services of a more senior solicitor
  • the complexity of the case
  • the amount of supporting evidence that we would need to consider
  • the number of days of hearing
  • the number of documents, number of witnesses, interaction with the other side and interim hearings which are listed by the Employment Tribunal

The number of hours it will take to deal with your case can vary greatly. 

The following estimates for time are the same for both unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims in the Employment Tribunal only.  However, wrongful dismissal claims can also be brought in the County of High Court and different fees will apply.  If there are other claims being brought within the unfair or wrongful dismissal claim, such as discrimination, this may also impact on the costs estimate.

Set out below are more details about the work involved and estimates for different stages of a matter.  It may be that you will not need us to assist with each stage.  Based upon the below, should you require our assistance from the early conciliation process to the final hearing the total cost for handling a matter could be between 73 and 109 hours.  Based on our hourly rate above this would amount to between £12,410 plus VAT @ 20% (£2,482)(total £14,892).

Expenses and Disbursements not included in the fee quoted

No fees are currently payable when bringing an Employment Tribunal claim.  However, a Claimant can be asked to pay a deposit and, in exceptional cases, either party can be ordered to pay the costs of the other.

Expenses and disbursements could include:

  • usually we will be able to deal with all aspects of the case but, in some complex matters, we may need to engage the services of a barrister or other advocate (counsel) and their fees will need to be paid in addition – it is not possible to confirm the amount of counsel fees as this will vary but the fee could be between £750 - £1,250 (plus VAT @ 20%) per day (depending on experience of the advocate)
  • Independent expert reports e.g. medical experts. (plus VAT @ 20%). It is not possible to predict the cost of these as this varies according to the particular circumstances.
  • Travel costs to the Tribunal - there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses based upon a rate of £0.45 per mile or second class public transport (plus VAT @ 20%)
  • If we need to stay overnight then hotel accommodation may be chargeable (amounts subject to VAT @ 20%) but we would try and avoid there where possible

Key stages

The key stages will depend on the particular circumstances of the case but may include the following:

Early conciliation with ACAS

Before a claim can be lodged, it is necessary for the parties to go through the early conciliation process with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). This can be done between you and the opponent and does not necessarily need our involvement. 

This usually takes anywhere between 4 to 6 hours depending on the complexity of the case.

If we are involved then, based on the maximum hourly rate above, this could amount to between £680 plus VAT @ 20% (£136)(total £816) to £1,020 plus VAT @ 20% (£204)(total £1,224)

 

Completing the Claim or Defence

This will include:

  • initial detailed attendance with you to take full instructions
  • legal review and analysis
  • drafting and submission of claim or defence

This usually takes anywhere between 6 to 12 hours depending on the complexity of the case.

Based on the hourly rate above this could amount to between £1,020 plus VAT @ 20% (£204)(total £1,224) to £2,040 plus VAT @ 20% (£408)(total £2648).

 

Preliminary hearing

These are not always needed but where they are, the work will include:

  • Preparing a bundle of documents for the hearing
  • further attendance with you and others to take witness statement
  • other pre-hearing correspondence and documents
  • Attending the hearing (which could be anywhere between one and five hours)

This process therefore can take anywhere between 15 to 19 hours depending on the complexity of the case and length of the hearing.

Based on the hourly rate above this could amount to between £2,550 plus VAT @ 20% (£510)(total £3,060) to £2,890 plus VAT @ 20% (£578)(total £3468).

 

Disclosure

This is the process by which parties exchange relevant documentation.

The time it will take will obviously greatly depend on the number of documents, the co-operation of parties in providing the documents and whether there are any legal issues surrounding their relevance or reasons for withholding disclosure (such as where they are privileged).

The work will include:

  • Collating relevant documents for disclosure
  • Reviewing and analysing documents disclosed by the opponent
  • Occasionally needing to engage in ongoing discussions and challenges with the opponent on the documents disclosed

This process therefore can take anywhere between 6 to 12 hours depending on the documentation.

Based on the hourly rate above this could amount to between £1,020 plus VAT @ 20% (£204)(total £1,224) to £2,040 plus VAT @ 20% (£408)(total £2648).

 

Litigation

The work involved may include:

  • Ongoing correspondence with the opponent and Tribunal
  • Preparing witness statements
  • Preparing bundles for the hearing
  • Preparation for the hearing including cross examination and legal arguments
  • Occasionally there may be Interim hearings to discuss or decide issues
  • Preparation of lists of issues, chronologies and cast lists where the hearing will be complex hearings
  • Instructions to counsel where needed
  • Attendance at hearings which can last between one day (6 to 7 hours) and five days on average
  • If needed pre-hearing preparation such as preparation before the second and subsequent days’ hearing
  • Advising you throughout

The time taken at each key stage and the typical timeframes for each are difficult to estimate without knowing the circumstances or complexity of the particular case.

If the matter is not especially complex with an average range of a one to two day hearing the hours spent on the litigation element would be between 42 to 60 hours.  Based on our hourly rate above this would amount to between £7,140 plus VAT @ 20% (£1428)(total £8,568) to £10,200 plus VAT @ 20% (£2,040)(total £12,240).

 

Typical timeframes - How long will the matter take?

The timeframe for handling this type of case can vary greatly and so it is extremely difficult to provide an estimate without knowing what the case involves. 

Some unfair dismissal claim cases can settle within a matter of weeks where they are resolved during the Early Conciliation Process but where the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, the case could take anywhere between 10 to 75 weeks. There will be some cases though that can take up to 2 years so it is best  to be prepared for this.

 

We cannot provide a timescale of when hearings will take place, as this depends on the tribunal listings.

 

Services included in the fee quoted

  • acting as legal representative in the case
  • drafting relevant documents for the Tribunal and/or liaising with counsel on the same
  • attending all hearings
  • advising on progress
  • advising on the outcome

Services not included in the fee quoted

The fee will not include any advice or assistance on any follow up appeal or other action should the case be unsuccessful.  We can discuss any options and fees for those next steps if and when appropriate.