We are required by our regulator to publish details of our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal only. For the purposes of the costs guidance below a simple case is one where the final hearing is no more than one day in tribunal and a high complexity case is no more than 5 days in tribunal. If your case involves discrimination and/or other claims too, then costs may be higher than the range set out below.
The fees below would not apply to a wrongful dismissal claim in the High Court where different cost rules apply. They would apply to an employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal (compensation for the latter is currently capped in the Employment Tribunal at £25,000).
Every claim is different and if you wish to engage us we would provide you with a bespoke estimate of costs in relation to your case and update this as it progresses. We can also provide you with estimates if you would like our advice in relation to particular stages of a dispute only, for example pre-action settlement negotiations. We are happy to advise on and agree realistic budgets based on our experience. We are a small firm and, unless otherwise notified to you, your work will be done by Louise Hobbs or Sarah Jane Brostoff, both partners each with over 20 years’ experience in employment law.
You may have cover under an existing insurance policy which may fund the bringing or defence of any claim and this is worth checking as a priority. We do not work with insurers, so if you have such cover they will refer you to another law firm.
Simple case: £15,000 to £20,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £20,000 to £30,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £30,000 to £50,000 (excluding VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- 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;
- Making or defending a costs application;
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether there has been a dismissal, whether the case has been brought in time, whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties), whether the Employment Tribunal has jurisdiction, whether the claim has been brought in time;
- The number of witnesses and documents involved;
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if an allegation is made that the dismissal was caused by an employee “blowing the whistle”;
- If there are claims for detriment as well as dismissal;
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal – please note that the fees above to do not include bringing or defending claims for discrimination, whistleblowing, equal pay or TUPE related dismissals;
- If a Claimant wins and the matter proceeds to a further hearing to discuss what remedy is appropriate.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as barristers fees. We find it more cost effective and better value for clients to instruct barristers (also known as “Counsel”) to represent you at tribunal hearings. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Counsel's fees depend on the seniority of the barrister we instruct and range between £3,000 and £7,500 plus VAT for attending the first day of a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation), and then a daily fee for each subsequent day of between £600 and £1,500 plus VAT. We would discuss with you appropriate options when deciding on who to instruct. These fees are in addition to the fee ranges quoted above.
Our fee ranges quoted above do not include our attendance at Tribunal with Counsel
At present there are no fees for issuing claims in the Employment Tribunal but they may be reintroduced. There are court fees for issuing proceedings in the High Court.
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 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
- Reviewing your documents and those of the other party to the litigation
- 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 counsel’s 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, 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 also be arranged to suit your individual needs.
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 is likely to take 1-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 8-18 months. 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.