The SRA’s Transparency Rules require us to provide costs information to employees and businesses in relation to advice and representation in the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal cases.
The information below is an outline guide to our charges for this type of work.
Costs to final hearing
The costs in a case will usually depend on the amount of work we to on a time spent basis. The hourly rates for solicitors within our employment team range from £220 – £420 per hour, depending on the level of seniority of the lawyer undertaking the work. Work undertaken by paralegals or trainee solicitors is charged at lower rates (typically between £120 – £150 per hour). We also offer fixed fees for agreed stages of work where this is preferred by clients.
As a guide, we would normally expect our fees in bringing or defending an employment tribunal claim to be in the region of £15,000 – £25,000 for a one-day hearing, with the costs increasing by approximately £5,000 – £8,000 for each additional day. In addition, there may be disbursements (which are mentioned further below).
The work involved in preparing for an employment tribunal essentially falls into the following stages:-
- Taking initial instructions, reviewing relevant documentation and advising on the prospects of any claim brought (and likely awards)
- Entering into mandatory pre-claim conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached
- Making or responding to any pre-trial applications to the employment tribunal
- Preparing the Claim Form or Response (and advising on the other party’s Claim Form or Response as appropriate)
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- Preparing a schedule of loss and/or a counter-schedule of loss
- Dealing with any preliminary hearings
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
- Preparing witness statements
- Instructing expert witnesses and considering their reports and the reports of an employer’s expert witness
- Preparing bundles of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- Preparing/agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and a witness list
- Preparation and attendance at final hearing (including preparation of instructions to a barrister).
The length of time your claim takes will depend on what stage it is resolved – sometimes matters can settle before a claim is formally issued, or a matter can be settled, or struck out, before any final hearing. Of course, fees may be lower than the estimates above where a matter is resolved before all the steps above need to be taken.
For the case to proceed to a final hearing, it may take typically between 6 months to a year, although it can take longer (particularly for more complex cases or those that are listed for several days).
Disbursements are those costs payable to third parties. The main disbursement that may be payable is a barrister’s fees for advice and/or representation. Their level of fees will depend upon their level of seniority, but can range between £250 – £400 per hour or £1,500 to £4,000 per day for advice, drafting or attendance/representation at a hearing.
Other disbursements that can apply in some cases include fees for expert witnesses or travel costs.
You would always be consulted in advance and your approval obtained before any disbursements are incurred.
How we can help
We, of course, have a discussion with our clients about the likely costs and scope of work at the outset in every case. As well as employment tribunal representation, we offer services for the full range of employment law matters, so would be happy to assist in any way we can.
The fees quoted are exclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT) which will be added where applicable.