Phil Cookson
Employment

Our employment law advice pricing

Employment law can be complicated, and when disputes arise it can seem daunting at first.  We have been successfully guiding our clients through those difficulties for a number of years now and bring a wealth of experience to our work.  Unlike some firms, we work for both employers and employees, which gives us a valuable insight into the thought processes of each side and means that we can often find a solution which is both cost-effective and agreeable to all, without the need for costly court proceedings. 

We have experience of working at all levels in business, from advising boards of directors to helping individuals when they have been unfairly treated by their employer.  We appreciate it can be a stressful time and members of the team will use their skills and abilities to meet the challenges you face, informing you of progress without resorting to legal jargon. 

We feel it is important that you know about our pricing before we start work for you.  As each case we handle is different, it is difficult to give exact figures, but by way of an example, our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are listed below.

It is important to note that most cases are settled without the need for a trial before an Employment Tribunal and we work hard at all times to avoid unnecessary expenditures. In estimating likely costs we are required to assume that the case actually reaches and is heard at a trial.

  • Simple case: £4,000 - £6,000 (excluding VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £6,000 - £12,000 (excluding VAT)
  • High complexity case: £12,000 - £18,000 (excluding VAT)

What could make a case more complex?

  • The factual background of the dispute – if your dispute involves claims of discrimination then they can be more complex than might otherwise be the case.
  • The approach adopted by the other side – if your former employer or employee is “deliberately awkward” this can mean that costs increase outside of our control.
  • The amount of documentation involved on both sides.
  • 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
  • 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 of £1,000 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow one to two days depending on the complexity of your case. More complex cases will typically last three or more days.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

If you choose to instruct a barrister (and we will discuss with you if this is necessary), his or her fees will be in addition to those set out above. Counsel's fees vary greatly depending on the level of expertise and experience of the barrister selected. We try and use a limited number of barristers chambers in an endeavour to ensure that we are always offered competitive fees. To include trial preparation these costs might range between £750.00 (excluding VAT) and £5,000.00 (excluding VAT) for preparation and the first day of trial and thereafter at a daily rate of between £600.00 (excluding VAT) and £1,500.00 (excluding VAT), depending on expertise and experience. Despite the cost differential, we would typically advise that more experienced barristers are used for more complex cases the value added can be significant.

Key Stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to 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 only an indication and if some of the 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.

Timescales

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 2-8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take more like 6-9 months (depending on when the Tribunal lists the case for hearing). 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.

 

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