At Cater Leydon Millard, delivering the highest quality legal service is of utmost importance. However, we also know that together with quality, the price of our services is likely to be important to you when looking for an employment lawyer.
We have therefore set out below, information about our pricing and the costs you might incur if you instruct us to bring or defend an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal. We hope you find this helpful.
Our typical fees for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal
The complexity and variable nature of legal work can make it difficult to predict the cost of a case at the start. However, we will always discuss fees with you before accepting your instructions.
Our fees are based on the time it takes to deal with your case, which can vary significantly from case to case. The time a case takes and therefore the final cost is dependent on factors such as the factual and legal complexity of the matter, the number of witnesses, the quantity of documents which are relevant to the issues and the conduct of the other party in bringing or defending the claim. The time we charge for includes time spent attending on you and others, dealing with papers, correspondence, telephone calls and attendance at the Employment Tribunal. Our standard hourly charge is £275 plus VAT.
We have set out some typical costs for bringing or defending a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal, by way of illustration. Simple tribunal cases for unfair or wrongful dismissal can often be dealt with at a final hearing, lasting between one to three days with limited preparation time, although where the case is linked to other claims, such as discrimination or whistleblowing, or where a high number of witnesses are required, the final hearing can last for many more days and significantly more preparation is needed.
The illustrations below assume a case with a final hearing lasting one to two days. The rates exclude our costs of attending the final tribunal hearing, VAT and disbursements, which are detailed below.
If you are an employee:
- Simple case: £7,500 - £10,000 (excluding VAT)
- Medium complexity case: £10,000 - £17,500 (excluding VAT)
- High complexity case: £17,500 - £25,000 (excluding VAT)
If you are an employer:
- Simple case: £10,000 - £15,000 (excluding VAT)
- Medium complexity case: £15,000 - £20,000 (excluding VAT)
- High complexity case: £20,000 - £30,000 (excluding VAT)
Our fees for an employer are higher, as there is typically more work to be done. For example, as an employer, you will usually have more documents to disclose, more witnesses to interview and prepare statements for and are often asked to take the lead in some of the administrative steps, such as the preparation of the list of issues and trial bundles of documents.
We have provided a range of prices dependent on the complexity of the case. Factors that could make a case more complex include:
- 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
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues, such as whether the claimant was an employee (if this is not agreed by the parties)
- The number of witnesses and documents; the more witnesses and the greater the volume of documents, the more complex the case will be
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if the dismissal is alleged to be following a whistleblowing
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
There will be an additional charge for us attending a final tribunal hearing of between £1,000 to £1,500 per day (excluding VAT).
When an unforeseen complexity arises, or where the way in which you ask us to proceed with your case means additional work, we will inform you of this and provide you with revised costs information. Additional fees would be incurred for any mediation and/or advising on an appeal, details of which we would discuss with you at the appropriate time.
Expenses we incur on your behalf
These are commonly referred to as disbursements and are costs, other than our fees, related to your case. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
In an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim the most common disbursements will include barrister’s fees and our travel expenses. We typically instruct a barrister to represent you at the final hearing. Barrister’s fees for a final hearing are estimated between £1,000 to £2,000 excluding VAT for the first day, including preparation, and thereafter between £750 to £2,000 excluding VAT, for each additional day. The actual price will be determined by the complexity of the case and the seniority and experience of the barrister. Travel expenses are usually no more than £500 including VAT.
Key stages of your claim
The fee illustrations above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal case:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on your prospects of success in the claim and the likely compensation, although this is likely to be revisited throughout the case and subject to change.
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation with ACAS where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
- Preparing your claim or response.
- Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the other party.
- Exploring settlement and negotiating a 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 bundles of documents for the final hearing.
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements.
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
- Preparation and instructions to the barrister for the final hearing.
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages 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 and this will also reduce the cost.
How long will my case take?
The time it takes from your initial instructions to the final resolution of your case depends largely on the stage at which it is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 3 - 4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 18 - 36 weeks. This is just an illustration and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the case progresses.
Who will be responsible for my case and how experienced are they?
All of our legal work is undertaken by qualified, talented and highly experienced solicitors who are all employment law experts and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. You may ask for a specific member of our team to deal with your case, or otherwise we allocate work based on our own specialities, experience and availability.
The full details of all of our solicitors, including their experience and qualifications can be found on the Our Lawyers page.
The usual practice in the Employment Tribunal is that each party is responsible for paying their own costs, irrespective of the outcome. This means that you will be responsible for paying all your legal costs even if your case is successful.
We do not deal with cases on a no-win no-fee arrangement (damages-based agreements or conditional fee agreements), although are always happy to discuss funding methods with you.
If you want to find out more, or would like to discuss your particular requirements, please contact us.
Cater Leydon Millard is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and our SRA number is 404647.