FEES

We understand that being involved in a Tribunal claim can be a stressful and daunting process and people want to have some cost certainty before embarking on it. We have set out below some cost information to help you have some visibility of the likely costs of representation. You should check whether or not you have insurance cover for legal fees.

HOURLY RATES

Our hourly rates vary between £100 and £250 plus VAT. The rate depends on the level of qualification of the solicitor dealing with the matter and the complexity of the matter. Where hourly rates are charged we will give you an estimate of how many hours work is involved at each stage of your matter.

To see our team details, including levels of qualifications, click here. The supervising partners for all matters are Anna Lees and Andrea Paxton.

EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL: COST INFORMATION

We have set out below a table showing the fee range for Tribunal claims – these apply whether we are acting for a Claimant or a Respondent. The ranges vary depending on the complexity of the case, the length of the hearing and the likely timescale for the claim to run.

Complexity

Fee Range

Timescales

Hearing Length

Simple

£4000-£6000

Up to 9 months

1 day

Medium

£5000-£10,000

9-12 months

2-3 days

High

£9000 – £25,000

Over 12 months

3+

Our fee range excludes VAT, disbursements and barrister’s fees.

No two Employment tribunal claims are exactly the same and our fees will reflect the particular requirements of your matter. For example, if there are a large number of witnesses to a particular matter, or the Tribunal has directed that there is disclosure of specific documentation, this may affect the cost of the matter. Because of this we cannot give you a precise estimate of the costs until we have carried out a detailed assessment of the matter, but the anticipated costs are set out in the table above. Of course, if your case does have unexpected complications, we will inform you of that as soon as possible, and we would discuss the potential consequences of that before any additional charges are incurred. You would never receive an invoice that you were not expecting.

If we are acting for a Company and working on a number of Tribunal claims, then our fee range would take this into account and may be reduced.

FACTORS THAT MAY INFLUENCE THE COST OF A CLAIM

The factors that could make a case more complex, include:

• A preliminary issue that needs to be determined, for example, if a claim has been brought in time or whether someone is a disabled person in accordance with the Equality Act.
• Defending a claim for a Respondent where the Claimant is not represented or vice versa.
• If the Claim or the Response has to be amended, for example, if new information comes to light.
• If there are a number of preliminary hearings to clarify the issues.
• If a Tribunal hearing is not finished in the allotted time frame and the parties have to go back at another date to conclude the hearing.
• Where there are requests for specific documents to be disclosed, or lengthy allegations that need to be particularised in a table.
• There may be a large number of witnesses and/or documents involved in the case.
• Where there are a number of Claimants or Respondents.
• If there is a costs application involved.
• If the dismissal is connected with a TUPE transfer or whistleblowing.
• If there are one or more allegations of discrimination.
• If the claim needs to be heard in the High Court for example if it involved an injunction/breach of restrictive covenants or a contractual claim worth over £25,000.
• If one party has placed an unrealistic value on the claim which causes additional work.

Prior to agreeing our terms of engagement, we will assess the complexity of the case and give you our best indication of the likely fee range from those outlined above. We will continually review that assessment and provide you with a revised estimate in the event of there being any change.

Where possible we will give a quote for each main stage of the process.

MAIN STAGES INVOLVED IN A CLAIM

We have set out below the key stages usually involved in bringing or defending a claim. If some of these stages do not apply then this will lower the cost of a claim.

  • Taking initial instructions, reading the relevant paperwork and discussing strategy and approach with you.
  • Contacting ACAS or responding to a contact from ACAS to comply with Early Conciliation requirements.
  • Drafting the Claim or Response and reviewing the opposing documentation.
  • Preparing for and attending any Preliminary Hearing (which involves setting a timetable for the case and discussing the issues involved).
  • Putting together a list of all relevant documents in the case and exchanging this with the other side and reviewing their list and their documents.
  • Considering any request for specific disclosure of documents or further information, whether making or responding to such a request.
  • Working on a joint bundle of documents for the Hearing and agreeing this with the opposing party.
  • Drafting witness statements and liaising with the witnesses to ensure agreement with their content.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
  • Preparing and agreeing a list of legal and/or factual issues, chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation for and attendance at the Hearing, including sending instructions to the barrister.
  • Arranging and attending a conference with the barrister.
  • Exploring and negotiating settlement throughout the process, which may involve advising on the terms of a settlement agreement.

Prior to agreeing our terms of engagement, we will assess the complexity of the case and give you our best indication of the likely fee range from those outlined above. We will continually review that assessment and provide you with a revised estimate in the event of there being any change.

Where possible we will give a quote for each main stage of the process.

FURTHER CHARGES

If any of the following stages are required then there will be an additional cost to your case:

Judicial mediation/judicial assessment

£800-£1200 per day for attendance and £800 – £1000 per day for preparation

Attending the Tribunal Hearing with the barrister

£800 – £1200 per day

Preparing for and attending a remedies hearing if one is listed as a separate hearing

£1000-£4000 depending on the issues involved.

Assisting a barrister with any appeal

£1000 – £3000 depending on the complexity of the appeal.  We would anticipate that the barrister would do a lot of the drafting in this situation. 

All the above fees exclude VAT, travel time/costs, disbursements and barrister’s fees.

Disbursements include photocopying, postage and courier fees.

INSTRUCTING BARRISTERS AND THEIR FEES

In the majority of cases, we instruct a barrister to conduct to represent you at the main hearing, which we would discuss with you at the time. We normally conduct Preliminary Hearings ourselves but will occasionally instruct a barrister for a Preliminary Hearing. We have excellent working relationships with a number of barristers from several chambers in Manchester, Birmingham and London and would find a barrister for you that is appropriate in terms of their level and cost. You will be responsible for paying the barrister’s fees and may be required to pay them direct to the barrister’s chambers. The barristers that we instruct tend to charge between £800 and £1750 per day. There is a “brief fee” which includes the preparation time and the first day of the hearing, and then a “refresher fee” which is for their attendance on subsequent days. Their cost depends on their seniority, the length of the case and the complexity/volume of documents. These costs are excluding VAT and expenses.

LIKELY TIMESCALES FOR A CLAIM

The length of time that it takes to conclude your case depends on what stage it reaches. It may settle at an early stage, for example at Early Conciliation, and therefore be resolved within 4 weeks. If it doesn’t settle and is fought in the Employment Tribunal, it may take 9-18 months to conclude. This depends on the length of the hearing, how quickly the Tribunals lists a Hearing Date and whether the case is postponed or doesn’t finish during the allotted time. If the case is subject to an appeal it will take longer.