Our Charging Policy

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. 

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A Guide to our Charges

Hourly charge

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)                  £ 280 plus VAT

Tribunal Representation

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

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%.

 

Key Stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • 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 where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;

  • Preparing claim or response

  • Reviewing and advising on claim or 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 cast list

  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

 

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of 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 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. We will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

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.

 

Other work

Initial telephone consultation for advice

Except in the case of Settlement Agreement (see below) we offer all new employee clients a discounted initial telephone consultation with a Solicitor at the rate of £ 95 inclusive of  VAT for up to 30 mins*. 

 

Thereafter all work is charged at the hourly rate shown above, according to the time spent (in 6min block                       *includes prep time such as reading your documents

Advice on Settlement agreements 

Our charges start at £250 plus VAT.

This fee covers an initial consultation of up to around 45 mins for advice, suggesting amendments where appropriate for you to negotiate and signing off the agreement.   

Additional work including entering into negotiations on your behalf, redrafting the agreement, advising you after the initial consultation and dealing with reaffirmation agreements is charged at the hourly rate according to the time spent.

Except in particularly complex or time consuming cases, fees for dealing with a settlement agreement generally fall within £250 - £500 plus VAT.

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.   

        

Employment documentation 

Our documentation is bespoke to your organisation, but 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 £250 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 October 2021. All charges are subject to change.