The firm has extensive experience of advising employers and employees on a wide variety of employment-related issues including:
- Service Agreements
- Consultancy contracts
- Redundancy arrangements
- Settlement Agreements (previously known as ‘Compromise Agreements’)
- Transfer of Undertakings
- Wrongful/unfair/constructive dismissal
- Tribunal procedures
EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL PROCEEDINGS
In common with other the dispute resolution areas that we deal with the many variables involved in dealing with Employment Tribunal proceedings make it impossible to publish meaningful costs estimates online – no two matters are the same. Our charges for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are therefore necessarily based on the hourly rates of our personnel and the time they spend on your matter, bills being calculated by reference to the seniority of the fee-earners who work on your matter and the charging rates that are applicable to them. VAT will be chargeable in addition to our profit costs.
The complexity of your matter will inevitably have a bearing on the level of the costs that you incur on it. Factors that can make a case more complex include (but are not limited to):
- Having 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 is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
- The number of witnesses and documents (and the length of those 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
In addition to charging for our time in preparing your case (including the drafting and consideration of documents, and any attendances upon you and any other relevant parties) there will be an additional charge for our attending at a Tribunal Hearing with you.
If you would like a copy of our standard fee rate card please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also be pleased to discuss likely costs with you if provided with more details as to background circumstances – please call us on 02076311811 and ask to speak to one of the members of the employment team.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees and Counsel’s (i.e. a barrister’s) fees. As a general rule we instruct Counsel to deal with the advocacy of matters at the Final Hearing and sometimes in antecedent ‘case management’ hearings if they are particularly complex, and we also tend to engage specialist Counsel in connection with the drafting of Tribunal case statements since it familiarises them with matters at an early stage and gives them a rapport with the case.
Counsel’s fees for attending a Tribunal hearing will depend on experience of the advocate concerned and the nature of the hearing. For These are traditionally broken down into a ‘brief’ fee covering the first day of Final Hearing (including preparation) and ‘refreshers’ for subsequent days. Trial costs fees are usually front-loaded so that the ‘brief’ fee is higher than ‘refresher’ fees. We will do our best to negotiate a fair and appropriate fee with Counsel on your behalf.
We will handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. It is our custom to require payment of Counsels’ fees (and other similar disbursements where we are personally liable to pay them) from clients before we incur them.
The following are usually the work items involved in a Tribunal claim, assuming that it runs the full course:
- 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 a bundle of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- Agreeing a List of Issues, Chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, costs will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages; this may be viable depending on your individual circumstances.
How long will my matter take?
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 may take no more than a few weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take several months to be heard and the time it takes to get a hearing is likely to be dependent upon the number of witnesses and documents involved, as well as the availability of an Employment Judge or Tribunal appropriate to hear the matter. We will of course do our best to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.