It is our policy to be clear on charges and we will always give you an indication up front as to what it will cost to pursue your matter.
Where we can we will give you a fixed quote but where that is not possible, because we cannot predict how a case will go or how long it will take to achieve the desired outcome, we will give you our best estimate. We will provide you with information about the likely costs at each stage so you can plan ahead and make informed decisions.
Our Charging Policy
A Guide to our charges
Unless you are advised to the contrary your work will be charged at an hourly rate, according to the time spent (in 6 minute blocks).
Current hourly Rate for all Advisers (Solicitors and Barrister) £ 295 plus VAT
Litigation is by its very nature unpredictable, making it is impossible to give a precise indication as to cost. However, we do understand how important it is for you to know what you are committing to if you decide to bring or defend a claim in the Employment Tribunal. If you are bringing a claim, the costs have to be proportionate to the amount of compensation you are likely to recover.
A very high value claim, where perhaps you can reasonably expect to be awarded in the region of £80,000 might be worth pursuing even if the costs are in excess of £20,000 plus VAT, whereas there would be little point in incurring that level of costs if the realistic value of your claim is only £15,000-£20,000. Similarly, if you are defending a claim you will need to weigh up the costs of settling at an early stage against fighting the case to the end.
Discussing costs with you is an important part of our advice and we aim to be clear and open about the financial implications of your case and also how you will fund it. We will discuss all the options with you before undertaking work and you can place a limit on how far you are willing to pursue the case based on our estimate of the costs at each stage.
Unfair and Wrongful Dismissal Claims
The most common claim brought in the Employment Tribunal is unfair dismissal, although the case may also involve other claims such as wrongful dismissal or discrimination. Whatever the claims, there is a whole range of factors that can play a part in how long it takes to handle the case and this will affect the costs involved. With no two cases being exactly the same, we cannot quote fixed prices for Tribunal cases. However we can give a guide to costs and to do this we take, as an example, an unfair dismissal claim.
What's the average cost of an Unfair dismissal claim?
All work is charged at the hourly rate shown above, according to the time spent but the amount of time we need to spend on the matter will vary significantly from case to case.
The cost of a claim depends on several factors, one of which is the stage at which it settles. The majority of cases settle early and often well in advance of an employment tribunal hearing or even before a tribunal claim has to be submitted. In these cases, the employer may pay some or all of the legal fees as part of the terms of settlement.
Simple cases start from around £2,000 with average case costs of £3,000-£7,000
Medium complexity cases start from around £3,000 with average costs of £7,000-£15,000.
High complexity case start from around £7,000 with average costs of £15,000-£30,000.
VAT is charged at 20% on all costs.
Factors that could make a case more 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 litigants in person
Making or defending a costs application
Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant 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.
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing. If we are conducting the advocacy in your case the daily rate will normally be between £1680 and £2240 per day, (excluding VAT, charged at 20%) depending on the number of hours in the Tribunal, any 'out of court' discussions that take place and travel . Generally, we would allow 2-10 days depending on the complexity of your case.
For lengthy cases it is often more cost effective for us to instruct a Barrister to represent you and we will discuss the
costs of both options with you so you can make a decision as to how you would like your case to be conducted in the Tribunal. Barrister's fees vary depending on the experience of the advocate and this is again something we will discuss
with you. Barrister's fees are treated as a disbursement (see below) and attract VAT at 20%)
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Barristers' fees, court fees, company searches or medical reports. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a
smoother process. Disbursements normally attract VAT at 20%.
Every Tribunal claim is different. The time that we spend on the case will depend on factors such as the complexity; the amount of documentation; and the number of witnesses. As a guide, we have set out below the average time required for the main stages of a straightforward unfair dismissal claim (after we have carried out the initial claim assessment.) It is important to remember that these times are based on an average straightforward case and your case might require extra attention.
1. Preparing your Tribunal claim, in discussion with you: 5 hours (£1,475.00)
2. Reviewing the defence, submitted by your employer/former employer, and discussing this with you: 2 hours (£590)
3. Reviewing documentation; advising on disclosure of relevant documents; disclosing your documentation to your employer/former employer: 6 hours (£1,770)
4. Reviewing the documentation disclosed by your employer/former employer, and discussing this with you: 3 hours (£885)
4. Assisting you to prepare your witness statement(s): 4 hours (£1,180)
5. Reviewing your employer’s statements, including discussing these with you: 6 hours (£1,770)
6. We would look at the most cost-effective method of providing you with representation at a Tribunal Hearing. This may involve instructing a barrister on your behalf, or we might represent you. Costs are likely to range between £750 and £3,000 for a 1 or 2 day hearing.
7. Ongoing discussions and communication with your employer/former employer, the Tribunal and ACAS: 1 hour per month (£295 per month)
The estimates above do not include VAT, and VAT should be added to all estimated costs.
We would engage in settlement negotiations with your employer/former employer through ACAS, and if a settlement was reached, this would avoid you incurring unnecessary costs. Of course, no settlement would be reached without your full agreement.
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.
In most instances in the Tribunal, each party bears their own legal costs.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take around 2- 6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 8-12 months This is just an estimate and will vary considerably according to various factors including which Tribunal your case is in, the complexity of your claim, availability of witnesses and whether the case is settled. The Covid 19 pandemic has also had an effect on claims being listed in the Employment Tribunal.
Employment Appeal Tribunal
Again, every appeal is different. As a guide, we have set out the main stages of the appeal process below (after the initial advice in relation to the appeal:
1. Preparing your appeal: 6 hours (£1,770)
2. Preparing for and attending a 1 hour Preliminary Hearing, if necessary: 6 hours (£1,770) (In most cases where we advise that an appeal is appropriate, there will be no Preliminary Hearing, so this cost is not usually incurred)
3. Advising on documentation and preparing draft Appeal bundle: 4 hours (£1,180)
4. Preparing and filing Skeleton Argument; preparing and filing bundle of case law; representing you at a half day appeal hearing: 10 hours (£2,950)
The estimates above do not include VAT, and VAT should be added to all estimated costs.
No win no fee
We do not routinely take cases on a no win no fee basis, but in some instances we can make this arrangement available to you if your case is, in our opinion, strong enough on both merits and quantum (value). If we take a case on this basis we take, as our fee, one third of whatever we recover for you (inclusive of VAT) plus disbursements (charges we incur on your behalf such as barristers' or experts' fees. Disbursements will normally also attract VAT at 20% and this will be payable by you).
Legal expenses insurance
You are welcome to instruct us under your legal expenses insurance but please be aware that we can only act if you have first obtained your insurer's authority and they have confirmed that they are willing to pay us at our normal hourly rate.
After the initial free call, we offer fixed fee arrangements for some work:
Pre-employment contract review £350 plus VAT
Employment Tribunal initial case assessment £600 plus VAT
Review and advice on appeals £600 plus VAT
Thereafter all work is charged at the hourly rate shown above, unless you are advised to the contrary. This includes any further telephone calls for advice. We will give you an estimate of the cost or range of costs for the work you have instructed us to undertake for you and where appropriate we will break this down into stages so that you can make informed decisions as the matter progresses.
Advice on Settlement agreements
The Employer normally pays the legal costs in connection with a settlement agreement and depending on how much their contribution is, more often than not, we can deal with the matter without you incurring additional costs.
Our charges start at £250 plus VAT. This fee covers an initial consultation of up to around 45 mins in which we give you the statutory advice and then provide you with a certificate which you pass on to your employer with your signed agreement. We may, however, suggest amendments to the agreement or areas where you may be able to negotiate including improving the financial terms.
If you require us to handle the negotiations or make amendments this is charged at the hourly rate, according to the time spent so it may take you over your employer's contribution. However, in most cases the Employer's contribution is more than £250 plus VAT so there is a bit extra to cover additional work. Except in particularly complex or time consuming cases, fees for dealing with a settlement agreement generally fall within £250 - £500 plus VAT. If we cannot keep within your Employer's contribution, we will let you know so that you can decide whether to instruct us to do the additional work for you or handle the matter yourself with our guidance.
By way of a general guide to charges:
Contracts from £500 plus VAT
Handbooks from £1000 plus VAT
Template policies from £150 plus VAT
Bespoke policies from £300 plus VAT
Settlement agreement from £300 plus VAT
The above costs information is intended as a general guide only and is based on our rates as at 1st March 2022. All charges are subject to change.