Employment tribunal claims (individual and businesses)
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Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal Claims
Each claim is different and the overall cost will depend on multiple factors in particular the specific circumstances giving rise to the claim; any additional claims brought (e.g. discrimination, whistleblowing); the complexity of the legal issues; the length of any tribunal hearing; and whether Counsel (a barrister) is instructed to conduct the hearing.
The usual steps in an unfair/wrongful dismissal claim include:
- Taking instructions, reviewing documentation and advising on the merits, risks and potential level of compensation
- Entering into ACAS early conciliation and/or potentially exploring judicial mediation and (where appropriate) continuing settlement negotiations throughout the case
- Preparing the claim form and grounds of complaint / the response form and grounds of resistance
- Advising on your disclosure obligations and managing the disclosure exercise
- Preparing a (counter) schedule of loss
- Preparing witness statements
- Reviewing and advising on the other side’s witness statements
- Instructing Counsel
- Preparing hearing bundles and where appropriate agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or a cast list
- Attending potential preliminary hearings and then the final hearing
Please note these stages are indicative only and some of them may not always be necessary, which will reduce the costs.
Typical costs and basis of pricing information
Our current hourly rates for this type of work (excluding VAT, payable at 20%) are:
Senior Associate £240
Assistant Solicitor £160
Trainee Solicitor £120
You should always consider whether other funding arrangements are available to you including trade union membership (for individuals) or insurance. We are happy to discuss all funding options that are available to you at the outset including whether you have insurance cover.
Our indicative pricing for bringing or defending a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal which proceeds up to final hearing (exclusive of the cost of attending the hearing itself, see “Disbursements” below for such pricing details) are as follows:
Less complex cases: £8,000 to £15,000 (plus VAT)
These are typically single claims, e.g. wrongful dismissal, where the matter proceeds quickly without any complex issues or the need for any preliminary hearings. These claims are usually listed for 1-2 day hearings.
Medium complex cases: £15,000 to £20,000 (plus VAT)
These cases may involve more than one type of claim (e.g. wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal) or concern a more complex factual matrix. They often require one or more preliminary hearings before the substantive hearing. Claims brought by litigants in person (i.e. when the claimant is not legally represented) can also increase the cost of defending a claim, as can applications to amend the claim/response or applications for costs. These claims are typically listed for 2-5 day hearings.
Highly complex cases: costs from £20,000 (plus VAT)
These cases will usually involve multiple claims and complex preliminary issues e.g. unfair dismissal brought on the basis of a whistleblowing allegation. These cases also often involve complex and/or a high volume of documentation and/or a large number of witnesses necessitating multi-day hearings. These claims are usually listed for at least 5 days.
We will charge you “disbursements” in addition to our hourly charges for conducting the matter. Disbursements are costs that we need to pay to a third party e.g. barristers’ fees. We will inform you of these costs before incurring them and will usually ask for payment on account. Square One Law will deal with these payments on your behalf to ensure the matter proceeds smoothly.
The fees for Counsel to attend at a hearing will depend on their experience and seniority. Although the feels for Counsel can vary significantly, we would expect them to be somewhere between £1,500 and £3,000 plus VAT for preparation and attendance at a 1 day hearing. If the hearing is listed for multiple days, we would expect the fee for each additional day (the “refresher fee”) to be between £750 and £2,000 plus VAT. These fees do not include any travel or accommodation expenses which may be separately payable.
Should we also be required to attend a hearing with Counsel there will be an additional charge of approximately £1,500 plus VAT per day for our time, depending on the experience of the lawyer required.
As mentioned above, each case will vary very much in complexity. The time it takes for a matter to be resolved will therefore also vary greatly.
The parties can agree to settle a claim at any time up to the hearing. Settlement during early-conciliation is likely to take 4-6 weeks. If early-conciliation is unsuccessful and a claim is ultimately filed with the tribunal, a response must be filed within 28 days, after which time the Tribunal will either list a preliminary hearing or will set a timetable for the proceedings of its own motion. The final hearing will usually take place between 6 to 9 months after a response has been filed, however it is currently not unusual for multiple-days hearings to be listed more than 12 months after the claim was first brought.
Please bear in mind that the above timescales are estimates only; when we have been instructed and received more information about the case, we will be able to give you a more considered estimate of both the costs and the time we anticipate the case may take to be resolved.