Employment Tribunal Claims
Range of costs
Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal is set out below:
- Simple cases: £10,000 to £25,000 (excluding VAT);
- Medium complexity cases: £25,000 to £50,000 (excluding VAT);
- High complexity cases: £50,000 to £150,000 (excluding VAT).
Factors that could make a case more complex can include the following:
- 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 may be linked to the dismissal.
The length of the final hearing will depend largely on the complexity of your case. Generally, we would allow between 1 and 5 days for a final hearing.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
In most cases, we will instruct Counsel (a barrister who specialises in employment law) to be your advocate at any hearings.
We estimate that Counsel’s fees for attending a Tribunal Hearing are likely to be between £1,500 and £4,000 (excluding VAT) per day, depending on the seniority of the barrister. This will generally include preparation time (although, in some cases, Counsel may make an additional charge for preparatory work)
If you would like us to attend a hearing with Counsel, there will be an additional charge of between £1,200 and £3,200 (excluding VAT) per day, depending upon the seniority of the fee earner attending.
Payment of costs
Ordinarily, we would expect you to fund our costs personally. However, it may be that you have the benefit of a legal expenses insurance policy which might cover our fees. This type of policy might be included within your household insurance or as part of your banking arrangements. We can discuss this further during our initial consultation.
Recovery of costs from you opponent
Generally, employment tribunals operate what is called a ‘no costs rule’. This means that, regardless of the outcome of the case (whether you win, lose or draw) you will be required to bear your own costs. In certain very limited circumstances, the tribunal might order an unsuccessful party to pay the successful party’s costs. We can explain this to you in further detail, should you choose to instruct us.
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);
- engaging in the mandatory statutory pre-claim conciliation process to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
- preparing your claim or response;
- reviewing and advising on your opponent’s claim or response;
- engaging in settlement discussions during the course of the claim;
- preparing or considering a schedule of loss;
- preparing for (and attending) any preliminary hearings;
- exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
- taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
- reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
- preparing document bundles for hearings;
- agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list (for the final hearing);
- preparation and attendance at the final hearing, including instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are an indication of the type of work that will be necessary to progress your case all the way to a final hearing. If some of these stages are not required, the total fees may be less than those indicated above. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. We are happy to act for you on this basis and will charge our time according to a previously agreed hourly rate.
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 between 4 and 6 weeks. If, however, your claim proceeds all the way to a final hearing, it is likely to take somewhere between 6 and 8 months. 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.