Transparency Rules -Employment Law Tribunal Pricing
Transparency Rules -Employment Law Tribunal Pricing
Employment law can be complicated, and when disputes arise it can seem daunting at first. We (Mandy and Sean) have successfully been guiding clients through the Employment Tribunal litigation process for a number of years (meet the team for more information about our experience). More recently, as Talem Law, we have been continuing to advise on contentious matters. We have the advantage of acting for both employers and employees, which gives us a valuable insight into the thought processes of each side and means that we can often find a solution which is both cost-effective and agreeable to all, without the need for costly Tribunal proceedings.
We have experience of working at all levels in business, from advising senior board members to junior members of staff or advising all types of employers from large employers to small family-owned businesses. We appreciate that whether you are a claimant bringing a claim or a respondent responding to a claim, it can be a stressful time, but we will use our skills and abilities to meet the challenges you face, informing you of progress without resorting to legal jargon.
We feel it is important that you know about our pricing before we start work for you. As each case we handle is different, it is difficult to give exact figures, and we will discuss with you our hourly rates (currently £200 per hour excluding VAT and reviewed and updated with effect from 1st November each year) or whether in your matter it would be possible to agree a fixed fee or agreed fee. We are currently below the VAT threshold and therefore do not charge VAT at present on our fees but for completeness, the VAT standard rate is 20%. By way of an example, our pricing range for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal (excluding disbursements) are listed below: –
- Simple case: £4,500 – £8,500 (excluding VAT)
- Medium complexity case: £8,500 – £13,000 (excluding VAT)
- High complexity case: £13,000 – £20,000 (excluding VAT)
It is important to note that many cases are settled without the need for a hearing before an Employment Tribunal and we work hard at all times to avoid unnecessary expenditures. We will also advise you on whether the potential award an applicant could receive will justify the costs, and we would monitor this throughout a matter. In estimating likely costs we are required to assume that the case actually reaches and is heard at a hearing.
What could make a case more complex?
- The factual background of the dispute – if your dispute involves claims of discrimination then they can be more complex than might otherwise be the case
- The approach adopted by the other side – if your former employer or employee is “deliberately awkward” this can mean that costs increase outside of our control
- The amount of documentation involved on both sides
- 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
- Complex preliminary issues, such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
- The number of witnesses and documents
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We will always make it clear what costs are disbursement costs and how they should be paid.
If you choose to instruct a barrister (and we will discuss with you if this is necessary as we do try to conduct many of the hearings ourselves, but this is not always possible), his or her fees will be in addition to the price ranges set out above. Counsel’s fees vary greatly depending on the level of expertise and experience of the barrister selected. To include trial preparation these costs might range between £750.00 (excluding VAT) to £5,000.00 (excluding VAT) for preparation and the first day of a hearing and thereafter at a daily rate of between £600.00 (excluding VAT) to £1,500.00 (excluding VAT), depending on expertise and experience. VAT standard rate is currently 20%.
The term also covers the costs of copying disclosure documents and hearing bundles provided by a specialist copying provider whose average charge is 10p per page (plus VAT at 20% where applicable) (although we do not charge for incidental photocopying), significant travel costs (although we do not charge for travel within London), courier charges and the fees of expert witnesses. We will always discuss with you any likely disbursements that may arise in your matter.
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to key activities of a claim. Broadly speaking, these are the key activities in a standard unfair dismissal/wrongful dismissal claim. See table below where we have attempted to group these key activities into distinct stages as they could proceed in a live case along with approximate timescales.
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
- Preparing claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
- Exploring settlement and negotiating 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 bundle of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation and our attendance at Final Hearing, or instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are only an indication and if some of the stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced.
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 4 to–6 weeks. If your claim proceeds and is listed by the Employment Tribunal, it is usual for directions to be issued and if the matter proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take more like 6-9 months (depending on when the Tribunal lists the case for hearing) but if the hearing is listed for multiple days, it is likely to take longer and could be up to 12 months.
The table below gives you an idea of how an unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal case could proceed and is for illustration purposes only and includes estimated timescales for each stage.
|Stage||Work undertaken and likely timescales in a typical standard unfair dismissal/wrongful dismissal case|
Obtain initial instructions and review the papers
Entering into pre-claim conciliation to see whether a settlement can be reached (this usually takes a minimum of 4 weeks but the rules change dot allow a standard 6 weeks to carry this out)
Drafting and filing claim or response
Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
Drafting initial merits report.
Likely timescale for stage 1 – between 5 and 12 weeks
Preparing for preliminary hearing, for example to discuss (1) case management or (2) any other preliminary issues, such as whether the claim is out of time or whether the Claimant has the requisite length of service/employment status to bring a claim or any other jurisdictional issue.
Attending a preliminary hearing.
Likely timescale for stage 2 – between 2 and 6 weeks
Reviewing further papers
Drafting list of documents for disclosure
General correspondence with both client and other party
Exchanging documents with the other side and agreeing a hearing bundle Drafting or considering schedule of loss and/or drafting or considering counter schedule of loss
Drafting or considering costs warning letter if appropriate
Settlement discussions could be ongoing
Drafting settlement documentation (if applicable)
Providing an update of the merits to you.
Likely timescale for stage 3 – between 4 and 10 weeks
Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with potential witnesses.
Reviewing and advising on witness statements disclosed by other party Preparing mitigation statement (if acting for individual) and collating supporting evidence.
Drafting/reviewing/agreeing a list of issues, cast list and chronology for final hearing
Instructing a barrister (Counsel) if unable to carry out the advocacy ourselves
Preparing for final hearing and briefing witnesses on what to expect regarding tribunal procedure, order of giving evidence, layout of a tribunal etc.
Reviewing mitigation statement and mitigation evidence (if acting for employer)
Likely timescale for stage 4 – between 4 and 10 weeks
This is just an estimate, and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
Personal Data You Provide
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Our “Lawful Reasons” For Processing Your Personal Data
The “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR) is the primary piece of legislation defining your rights over our processing of your personal information. The GDPR requires us to declare which of six “lawful reasons” we are relying on when we are processing your personal data: we operate on the basis of “consent” when sending newsletters (you won’t get sent a newsletter unless you have explicitly opted in to receive one) and we operate on the basis of “legitimate interest” when communicating with you in other ways (e.g. when responding to your enquiry).
How Long We Keep Personal Data
Personal data may be stored by the website for a period of up to 90 days after which time it is removed automatically.
Transfer of Personal Data
We will not be transferring your personal data to third parties or outside of the EU.
Questions or Complaints
In the first instance we hope you will contact us directly with any questions or complaints (contact details are displayed prominently on this website). However, legal rights regarding privacy are the remit of the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and you will find more information about how to complain here: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure in the link below. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
Before accepting a complaint
- Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint AND
- No more than six years from the date of act/omission; OR
- No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ