Cost Certainty – How We Charge
We are committed to cost certainty. We offer fixed fees for all our services including employment tribunal matters wherever possible. For example, we offer our employer clients a monthly retainer service which gives unlimited access to legal advice and support for a low monthly fixed cost.
For more information about the range of fixed price and other cost options that may best suit your employment law needs please contact our team here, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 3871 6345. You may have other funding options available (such as cover under an insurance policy) which we will always consider with you. Again, a member of our team will be happy to discuss this with you.
When it comes to bringing or defending Employment Tribunal claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal, we will carefully consider your situation at the outset and provide a detailed costs estimate before you incur any fees. That estimate will be kept under continual review. We may charge based on an hourly rate which varies depending on the member(s) of staff dealing with your matter or on a fixed fee basis. The seniority of the member(s) of staff dealing with your case will depend on its complexity. We will discuss this with you when you instruct us. Where possible, we will offer to work on a fixed feed fee basis for some, or all, of the stages in the process.
In any individual case the level of complexity might be different at each stage of the process. For example, an unfair dismissal claim could be straightforward when it comes to drafting the claim form or response, but could have very complicated issues when it comes looking at the extent of the claim for losses.
The table below provides a guide to our potential fees in bringing or defending ‘ordinary’ unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal claims in an Employment Tribunal carried out by our team of employment lawyers. Please note that these fees are not quotes, are based on a blended hourly rate, and exclude disbursements (explained below) and more complex claims (such as discrimination). In all instances we will discuss the likely range of costs with you, which will depend the nature and complexity of your particular matter.
Employment Tribunal Cost Ranges
Broadly there are three costs ranges:
Low complexity: £2,800 – £12,200 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity: £11,200 – £24,300 (excluding VAT)
High complexity: £20,400 – £45,300 (excluding VAT)
These are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as barristers or experts. You will be responsible for all sums charged by these third parties. We may arrange for you to be invoiced direct by them.
The fees payable to a third party will depend on the nature of their service, and the amount of work they need to carry out on your matter. We will always provide you with an estimate of disbursements specific to your matter at the time that you instruct us which will depend on the type of third parties that we need to engage to support your matter.
Employment Tribunals do not presently charge fees to bring or defend claims but there may be courier or copying charges, for example, in preparing disclosure or bundles of documents for the Employment Tribunal. The fees associated with a barrister will depend on the particular barrister instructed, their experience, the complexity of the issues, the volume of documentation and the amount of work they need to do and the length of the hearing. Different barristers’ and different barristers’ chambers charge different fee rates. As a guide, barrister’s fees could be between £1,000 – £4,000 per day excluding VAT, charged at 20% (depending on seniority and experience of the barrister and the complexity of your case) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation). Again we will always discuss options around disbursements and costs with you when we start working for you and during the course of your matter.
How long will my matter take?
Timescales for Employment Tribunal matters will vary depending on the complexity of the matter.
As a general rule, most Employment Tribunal matters should be resolved between 3 – 18 months. However at the moment, the Employment Tribunal Service is experiencing a high volume of claims which is significantly contributing to a delay in when the final hearing can be listed to take place.
Our Employment Tribunal Cost Overview provides more detailed information on the key stages and costs associated with bringing or defending an employment tribunal claim.
Employment Tribunal Cost Overview
|Low Complexity £2,800 – £12,200 (ex. VAT/ disb.)||Medium Complexity £11,200 – £24,300 (ex. VAT/disb)||High Complexity £20,400 – £45,300 (ex. VAT/disb)|
|Initial Instructions and Claim Form/Response|
|Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this advice is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)||1-3 hours||3-6 hours||6-10 hours|
|Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached||1 hour||1 hour||1 hour|
|Preparing claim or response||1-5 hours||3-10 hours||5-20 hours|
|Typical Examples||Unfair dismissal (conduct/gross misconduct) Pay claims Straightforward wrongful dismissal||Unfair dismissal (capability) Unfair dismissal (redundancy) Unfair dismissal (SOSR) Unfair dismissal (breach of statutory obligation) Automatically unfair dismissals (inc. TUPE) Working time claims||Cases involving: Discrimination Whistleblowing Equal pay|
|Complexity Factors||The existence of limitation/jurisdiction issues The number of documents to review The period of time over which the events giving rise to the claim occurred Whether the other side is acting as a litigant in person Whether there are multiple parties (e.g. individual employee respondents) Where there is more than one type of claim being brought The existence/possibility of an employer’s breach of contract claim|
|Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process||1-5 hours||2-10 hours||10-25 hours|
|Typical Examples||Low value claim Agreement recorded in COT3 (a type of agreement mediated by ACAS) Little dispute between the parties||Medium value claim Some dispute between the parties resulting in protracted negotiations Settlement of multiple claims Some matters supplementary to the financial settlement (e.g. an agreed reference).||High value claim Limited waiver of claims (e.g. where there might be personal injury claims) Significant supplementary matters, for example: Taxation issues Retention of property/benefits (company car, phone, health insurance etc.) Confidentiality and post-termination restriction points Outplacement support Pension issues|
|Complexity Factors||We will constantly keep the possibility of settlement under review. The amount of time which might be spent on settlement discussions is likely to be dictated by the parties’ respective attitudes to settlement. Where settlement discussions are successful time will be spent on preparing a formal document recording what has been agreed. The more complex the agreement the more time is likely to be spent on that phase.|
|Schedule of Loss|
|Preparing or considering a Schedule of Loss/Counter-Schedule of Loss||1-2 hours||2-4 hours||3-6 hours|
|Typical examples||Straightforward unfair or wrongful dismissal claim No future losses (Claimant already in new employment) No substantial disputes||Ongoing losses Additional heads of claim (e.g. consequential losses) Some disputed matters||High value claims Significant/long term ongoing losses Injury to feelings awards ‘Career change’ cases involving claims for training, education or other expenses Pension losses Bonus payments|
|Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing||0-5 hours||2-8 hours||4-12 hours|
|Typical examples||No preliminary hearing, or a straightforward preliminary hearing to agree directions and a list of issues Telephone hearing||Preliminary hearing to determine a relatively simple preliminary issue, e.g. a limitation point or a jurisdictional point relating to ACAS early conciliation. Complicated causes of action||Preliminary hearing to decide a substantive issue in the case, e.g. whether the Claimant is disabled.|
|Complexity Factors||In more complex cases you may choose to instruct a barrister to carry out the advocacy at a preliminary hearing (see ‘Final Hearing’ below)|
|Disclosure and Bundles|
|Exchanging documents with the other party; agreeing and preparing a bundle of documents||1-5 hours||6-10 hours||10-25 hours|
|Typical examples||Single Claimant and Respondent No requirement to chase for additional documents Less than 50 pages of documents No dispute about what should be included in the bundle||1-3 additional requests required to obtain documents
51-100 pages of documents
Some dispute about what should be included in the bundle
|4 or more additional requests, or formal application, required to obtain documents
More than 100 pages of documents
Significant dispute about what should be included in the bundle
|Complexity Factors||Typically in the employment tribunal it is the Respondent who has responsibility for physically assembling the bundle and providing sufficient copies. In Scotland the disclosure obligations are less onerous which may reduce the time spent.|
|Taking instructions from witnesses, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses||4-12 hours||13 -27 hours||20-50 hours|
|Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements||2-5 hours||4-8 hours||6-12 hours|
|Typical examples||Less than 3 witnesses (on our side)
Little factual dispute
|3-6 witnesses (on our side)
Some factual dispute
|7 or more witnesses on our side
Heavily disputed facts
|Complexity Factors||The time spent drafting witness statements will also depend on the extent of the factual background and/or the number documents to which a witness will refer. In Scotland witness statements are not typically exchanged which may serve to reduce the overall time spent. However it will usually be necessary to prepare a proof of evidence (effectively a witness statement which is not exchanged) and to consider what the other side’s evidence might be.|
|Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list||2-5 hours||2-5 hours||2-5 hours|
|Complexity Factors||The tribunal may order the parties to prepare certain documents to assist the smooth running of the final hearing, in other cases we may choose to prepare additional documents to ensure your case is easily understood. The time spent will depend on what documents need to be produced and the complexity of the issues (see ‘Initial Instructions and Pleadings’ for examples).|
|Preparation and instructions to counsel||1-5 hours||3-10 hours||5-15 hours|
|Attendance at tribunal||0-14 hours||21-35 hours||42-70 hours|
|Typical examples||1-2 day hearing Up to 4 witnesses in total (i.e. both sides) Less complex legal or factual dispute (see the examples provided at ‘Initial Instructions and Pleadings’ above)||3-5 day hearing 4-6 witnesses in total (i.e. both sides) More complex legal or factual dispute (see the examples provided at ‘Initial Instructions and Pleadings’ above)||6-10 day hearing 7 or more witnesses in total (i.e. both sides) Complex legal or factual dispute (see the examples provided at ‘Initial Instructions and Pleadings’ above)|
|Complexity Factors||We will discuss with you whether it will be more cost effective for us to carry out the advocacy at the final hearing, or to instruct a specialist barrister. If we instruct a barrister we will discuss whether it will be necessary for us to attend the hearing as well. In general, the more complicated the hearing the more beneficial it will be to have a solicitor attending to support counsel.|
|Stage descriptors and complexity factors provided as a guide only – a claim may move between the complexity bands at each stage.|