Acting for Employers in the Employment Tribunal
We set out below our pricing structure for acting on behalf of employers defending claims for unfair dismissal (including constructive dismissal) or wrongful dismissal brought by an employee in the Employment Tribunal. Our charges are based on hourly rates and so the amount of our charges will depend upon the amount of work that we do on your behalf. The estimates that we have provided below relate to cases that do not settle and therefore proceed all the way to a final hearing.
Most of the employment disputes that we deal with result in settlement, most commonly before a claim has even been issued. If settlement negotiations are successful, you may only incur a portion of the costs estimated below and your costs could therefore be much lower. We can provide information about how settlement might be achieved and the likely costs relating to your matter depending on the stage in proceedings at which settlement is reached and the complexity of your matter.
The range of prices set out below are estimates. We have set out below some indicative factors that might make the case more complex, and this might result in the costs being higher than the estimates including in some cases above the top of the estimate range provided. We will be happy to discuss your individual matter with you and to provide you with an estimate of our charges based upon the circumstances of your case. If you would like more information, please do let us know.
You may have insurance that covers your legal costs of defending a claim for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal. Depending on the terms of your cover (which we will be happy to discuss with you), you may not need to pay anything towards our charges at all, simply pay a policy excess, or meet any shortfall between our hourly rate and the hourly rate that your policy will cover. It is possible also that your policy may only cover you for dealing with part of the claim, usually once a claim has been issued. Again, we will be happy to discuss that with you.
Our hourly rates range from £300 – £660 plus VAT, depending upon the seniority or location of the solicitor or partner instructed. Where we use a paralegal to assist on a case to minimise costs, their charges will be in the range of £150- 225 per hour plus VAT.
Hearings before the Employment Tribunal relating only to wrongful or unfair dismissal typically last for between 1-4 days. The duration will depend upon several factors, including the complexity of the case and the number of witnesses.
Estimated charges for defending claims for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal
Simple cases: £7,800- £18,000 ((plus VAT)
Medium complexity case: £18,000- £72,000 (plus VAT)
High complexity case: £72,000- £240,000 (plus VAT)
Each of the above estimates excludes the cost of us attending a Tribunal Hearing. If we attend at the tribunal hearing (in addition to a barrister attending), our charges will be £1,800 – £5,300 (plus VAT) per day, depending on the seniority of the person who is attending.
Disbursements – Barrister’s fees:
If the matter proceeds to a hearing, we will usually need to instruct a barrister on your behalf. The barrister will charge a Brief Fee, which includes all the preparation work that they carry out prior to the hearing as well their charge for attending upon the first day of the hearing. Where the hearing takes more than one day, the barrister will additionally charge a “refresher fee” for each subsequent day of the hearing. We have included estimates for the barrister’s fees below (these vary depending on the experience of the barrister and in complex cases could exceed the top of the range provided).
Case management preliminary hearing: £600 to £2,400 (plus VAT)
Substantive preliminary hearing to consider a preliminary issue such as whether the claimant is an employee (assuming the hearing lasts for no more than 1 day): £1,800 – £8,400 (plus VAT)
Main hearing brief fee: £1,200 to £18,000 (plus VAT)
Main hearing refresher fee: £600 to £6,000 (plus VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide or request further information about an existing claim
- If it is necessary to make or defend application about a claim or part of a claim being out of time.
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is an employee, whether they are disabled or whether a disclosure meets the legal definition of whistleblowing (if this is not agreed by the parties)
- If it is necessary to have a preliminary hearing other than one preliminary hearing to deal with purely procedural matters
- If the other side is not represented by a lawyer
- The number of documents and the efficiency of the process by which you provide them to us
- If it is necessary to make, consider or defend an application for specific disclosure
- If it is necessary to make or review disclosure in more than one tranche
- The number of witnesses, the length of time over which alleged mattes took place and the amount of evidence required from witnesses
- Allegations of discrimination or whistleblowing which are linked to the dismissal and/or other types of automatic unfair dismissal claim.
- If we enter into mediation or have extensive correspondence or discussions relating to settlement
- Making or defending a costs application or deposit order application
The estimated 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 potential 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 your defence to the claim
- Reviewing and advising on your defence to the claim or the response from other party
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process if applicable
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
- Preparing for a case management 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 or reviewing a bundle of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list if required
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Barrister