Price & Service Transparency Notice

Employment Tribunal (unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims)

The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA’s) Transparency Rules require me to provide transparency about my pricing for particular types of work, including bringing and defending claims for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal (ET).

I provide the information required by the SRA below, and hope that it is helpful. However, every client’s matter is different, and the cost of a matter will depend on a number of factors, including its complexity, value and length. The information provided below is therefore only an approximate guide. I always aim to provide clients with the best possible information about the cost of my services and am happy to provide individual cost estimates based on the details of a particular case; please feel free to get in touch for more information.

All work is carried out my me. I am a qualified solicitor (formerly qualified at the Bar) with over 25 years employment law experience.

I can help employees bring a tribunal claim against their employer for unfair or wrongful dismissal. I can also help employers defend such claims. My service is highly bespoke and will be tailored to your needs and the business sector in which you operate.

What is included

The key stages involved in ET matters include:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the merits and strategy as well as the likely value of the claim and any likely award (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and is subject to change).
  • Assisting you to conduct pre-claim conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
  • Preparing the claim or the response to the claim.
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim or the response from the other party.
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
  • Preparing for and attending a Preliminary Hearing.
  • Reviewing your documents, preparing disclosure of documents, review of the other side’s documents.
  • Agreeing a bundle of documents.
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
  • Preparing bundles of documents.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation for and attendance at the final hearing, including instructing an advocate to represent you.
  • Advising you and, where required, conducting or arranging representation at any preliminary hearings that may arise during the course of an Employment Tribunal claim.

What is excluded

The fees set out below would not include any further work, such as:

  • Dealing with whistleblowing claims.
  • Any work required before the employment is terminated (e.g. in relation to an investigation or a grievance).
  • Settlement discussions.
  • Any work required linked to post-termination contractual provisions such as restrictive covenants.
  • Any work linked to unpaid remuneration (e.g. salary, bonus, pension and equity elements) as part of the employment.
  • Any work linked to the impact of the termination on your professional or regulatory position as a member of, or a person authorised by, a regulatory or professional body.
  • Any appeal.
  • Any work linked to enforcement of any judgment.
  • Any work regarding your reputation.
  • Advising on tax.
  • Documenting a negotiated settlement.
  • Any additional work that is necessary as a result of a change in instructions from you.
  • Any work in relation to an agreed mediation process.

What I charge

I do not usually offer fixed fees particularly for ET claims as the nature of such claims is such that it is difficult to predict the final costs as these will depend in part on the conduct of the other side and the manner in which they conduct the claim.

My costs are calculated on a time incurred basis in 6 minute units at my current hourly rate. My currently hourly rate ranges between £275 and £325 (with some individuals and long-standing clients having a reduced rate.) My hourly rate is reviewed and can be revised each year from 1 October. I keep a record of time spent on your matter by means of a daily time sheet.

I offer a bespoke service and each matter is unique. I can only estimate the likely costs of my ET services once I have discussed the matter with you and seen the papers. However, I can provide an indication of my likely fees associated with work of varying complexity as set out above under the heading “What is included”.

Complexity       Fee range

Low                    £30,000 to £50,000

Medium            £50,000 to £70,000

High                  £70,000 + (very complex matters can be well over £100,000)

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • Detailed settlement discussions.
  • Needing to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
  • The involvement of professional rules or sector-specific regulation, such the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person.
  • Making or defending a costs application.
  • Longer hearings and more complicated facts – a low complexity case would not usually take more than 1 to 2 days for the hearing, a medium complexity case would be a hearing lasting about 2 to 4 days and a high complexity case would be a hearing lasting more than about 4 days.
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties).
  • More witnesses and documents.
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
  • The actual conduct and attitude of any or all of the parties involved in any claim.
  • Making or replying to any interim applications made to the ET before the final hearing.

Wrongful dismissal (notice pay)

I would expect a straightforward standalone claim for wrongful dismissal (notice pay), or the defence of such a claim, in the ET to be in the low complexity range given above if it does not settle and proceeds to a hearing. However, in many cases it would not be cost-effective for me to bring such a claim in the ET as the current cap on compensation for wrongful dismissal in the ET is £25,000. Higher value claims are usually brought in the High Court or County Court, where different procedures, costs and cost recovery rules apply; please contact me to discuss the likely costs of bringing such a claim.

In addition to my fees, there may be disbursements which are costs relating to your matter that are payable to third parties.  The main disbursement in all cases will be for barristers’ fees.  Barristers are often instructed to advise in conference before a claim is issued and to assist with the drafting of Particulars of Claim or the Response to a claim as applicable. Barristers may also be instructed to represent you at any preliminary hearing that is listed by the ET (depending on the complexity of the case) to include the drafting of the ‘list of issues’ which is a list of the matters an ET will have to decide at the full hearing. The barrister may also attend any additional hearing before an ET that may be required (such as an application for the disclosure of documents which are not provided voluntarily by the other side). The barrister may also be instructed to assist with the drafting of witness statements and to appear at the final hearing to conduct the claim on your behalf before the ET. Barristers’ fees will vary depending on the experience of the barrister and whether or not we consider it necessary to instruct a senior barrister known as a ‘Queens Counsel’ (QC); this may be required in a complex claim but is unlikely in a straight forward unfair dismissal claim. The decision as to which barrister to instruct, and at what level, will be made by you in conjunction with me.

As a guide however, a junior barrister will cost somewhere between £200 to £300 per hour for advice on a case, and between £1,500 to £2,000 per day in ET. A senior barrister will cost somewhere between £500 to £600 per hour for advice and between £3,000 to £5,000 per day in ET.

The fees of any expert who may be required to report on a particular matter (£3,000 to £20,000 per expert, depending on the type of expert and the nature of the report required).

Other disbursements likely to be incurred will be bulk copying costs, courier and postage costs and you will be advised about any such disbursements before they are incurred.

All barrister’s fees and some other third-party costs must be paid directly you as I do not hold client funds.

Rates and VAT

Where VAT applies, this will be added to my charges at the prevailing rate. Unless otherwise specified, all figures are quoted exclusive of VAT. Most disbursements attract VAT at the prevailing rate.

How long it will 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 one to two months. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take twelve months, but may possibly take as long as two years or more in certain circumstances. This is just an estimate and I will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses. You should also note that the progress of your matter will be affected by when clerks to the ET list your matter to be heard. This is entirely outside my control. As with all litigation, there is no guarantee that you will be achieve your desired outcome.