Our costs for Employment Disputes (including Tribunal Proceedings)
1. Our costs are based on an hourly rate of between £175.00 plus VAT and £190.00 plus VAT based upon the experience and qualifications of the person dealing with your matter. If you wish to attend an initial consultation for general advice only but otherwise intend to deal with the matter yourself, then our costs will be approximately £200.00 plus VAT. If further advice and assistance is required to deal with disciplinary and grievance procedures, then our costs are likely to be between £1,000.00 to £1,500.00 plus VAT.
2. Sometimes it is necessary to involve ACAS using the compulsory early conciliation service (this is compulsory if there is to be an application to the Employment Tribunal). If proceedings are issued, costs can range between £6,000.00 to £10,000.00 plus VAT depending on the complexity of your case.
3. On occasions, it is necessary to instruct Counsel (a barrister). We tend to instruct barristers who have a similar charge out rate or slightly more but this would depend upon the seniority and the experience of the barrister instructed. A barrister can be instructed to advise on the merits of your claim and/or represent you at the Tribunal.
4. Sometimes there can be the possibility of a settlement agreement between you and your employer. Under the relevant law relating to settlement agreements, you will be required to take independent legal advice on the agreement before signing. The employer will pay a fixed fee towards such independent advice. Usually a settlement agreement is negotiated and agreed upon before our involvement. Therefore, if acting for employee, we do not generally have to charge our client anymore than the fixed fee paid by the employer. However, if you require our help in negotiating a settlement agreement with your employer and a second meeting is then required to go through and sign the agreement, then we would make an additional charge based upon the hourly rate applicable.
5. Occasionally, we are asked to act for an employer to advise on and prepare a settlement agreement and our costs to the employer would be calculated on the basis of the applicable hourly rate.
6. If we are instructed to assist in proceedings in the Employment Tribunal then our costs would cover the following key stages of a claim:
a. Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the merits of your claim and likely compensation (this can be subject
to change as the matter progresses and may need to be revisited).
b. Entering into early conciliation with ACAS, to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
c. Preparing a claim or a response. This involves completing Form ET1 to outline your claim and nature of dispute or completing Form ET3 to respond
to a claim which has been made against you.
d. Reviewing and advising on a claim or response from the other party.
e. Exploring and negotiating the possibility of a settlement throughout the process.
f. Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
g. Preparing for (or attending) a preliminary hearing.
h. Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents.
i. Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
j. Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
k. Preparing a bundle of documents for the Tribunal hearing.
l. Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
m. Preparation and attendance at the final hearing including, where appropriate, instructions to Counsel.
If some of the stages above are not required, the fee may be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can be arranged subject to your own individual needs.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as court fees or Counsel’s fees. If we agree that it would be in your best interests to instruct Counsel to advise and/or represent you, these costs would be in addition to our costs set out above. Counsel’s fees vary greatly depending on the level of expertise and experience of the barrister. We tend to use barristers that we have used before and who offer good advice at competitive prices. However, if the matter proceeds to trial then it can cost between £1,000.00 and £5,000.00 plus VAT for Counsel to prepare your case and represent you.
How Long Will It All Take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends on how quickly and amicably your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during early conciliation via ACAS, then your matter is likely to take four to six weeks to complete. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case can take between six to twelve months (depending on when the Tribunal lists the case for hearing). This is just an estimate and we will give you a more accurate timescale based upon your individual circumstances and as the matter progresses.