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These guidelines cover the provision of advice and representation to an employer in relation to defending a claim before the Employment Tribunal brought by an employee for unfair or wrongful dismissal.
- Below are our pricing guidelines for defending a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal. Please note however that every claim is different and we will be able to provide a more accurate estimate of costs after assessing your case and agreeing an appropriate way forward.
- Wrongful dismissal only: £500 - £2,000 (plus VAT)
- Unfair dismissal (with or without wrongful dismissal):
- Simple case (where central facts are agreed and the claim is not challenged): £2,000 - £5,000 (plus VAT)
- Medium complexity case: £5,000 - £10,000 (plus VAT)
- High complexity case: £10,000 - £20,000 (plus VAT)
- The estimates provided above are only average prices based on recent instructions; the actual cost to you will depend on a number of factors which we will discuss with you if you decide to instruct us.
- There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £1,200 per day (plus VAT). Generally, we would allow between 1 and 5 days depending on the complexity of your case, although our attendance is not always required, particularly if a barrister is instructed (at additional cost – see next section).
- Depending on the outcome of the hearing, in normal cases, the expectation is that the losing party will pay the majority of these costs. However, this may not be possible and if not, you will remain liable for any outstanding costs and charges.
- There may be other costs on top (see next section). These are fees and charges we will need to pay on your behalf as part of the process, such as Tribunal fees, barrister’s fees, expert witness fees.
- Our fees are based on our average hourly charging-rate of £230 per hour (plus VAT), which will vary depending on who within the team is working on your case.
- It is worth checking whether you have the benefit of insurance to cover your costs. We will check this with you if you decide to instruct us.
- Our fees may have to increase due to particular and sometimes unforeseen factors. Such factors include (but are not limited to):
- If it is necessary to defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
- Claims that are brought by unrepresented 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
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim (such as if the employee is dismissed after blowing the whistle)
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
- Lack of cooperation from your opponent
- Protracted negotiations
- Counter-claims or appeals
- Timing of your instructions
- Compliance with short or urgent deadlines
Third party expenses (‘disbursements’)
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Typical disbursements would be:
- Barrister's fees of between £600 and £2,000 per day plus VAT (depending on the barrister’s experience) in respect of a Tribunal Hearing (preparation and attendance).
- The cost of a medical report if there is an issue over the employee's state of health or any disability. Such reports generally cost in the region of £750 - £1,500 (plus VAT).
Currently, there are no issue or hearing fees applicable to Employment Tribunal proceedings, although this might change over time, so please check with us.
Typical areas of work involved
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- 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 response to claim
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
- 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 to take to a Hearing
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation for and attendance at Final Hearing (including instructions to barrister)
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of them 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. This can be arranged on the basis of your individual needs.
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 12 weeks. If the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 months to a year. 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.
For more information on our Employment Team, visit our people pages and filter the 'Team' by Employment'.
Please click here if you would like further information or are thinking of instructing us.
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We also undertake:
- Employment & HR advice
- Redundancy & reorganisation
For full details of the services provided by our Employment Team, please click here.