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Pricing

 

Example of our Fees – Unfair/Wrongful Dismissal Employment Tribunal Cases

Litigation is unpredictable, but to provide some practical guidance on our fees, we have set out the fees we charge to defend unfair or wrongful dismissal cases. We do advise individuals who wish to bring claims in the employment tribunal.

Hourly Rates

Our standard approach is to charge for our services based on the time we spend working on the case.

Our current hourly rates are:

 

Level of Experience

Hourly Rate (excl. VAT)

 

Partner

£550

 

Senior Counsel

£495

 

Senior Associate

£415

 

Associate

£330

 

Junior Associate

£290

 

Trainee Solicitor

£195

 

Paralegal

£175

Factors to Consider

The costs of defending an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim will vary depending on the details of the claim and the level of complexity. Factors that may make a case more complex/costly include:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
  • Defending claims where the person bringing the claim does not have a lawyer representing them.
  • Making an application against the person bringing the claim that they pay some of your legal fees.
  • Defending an application from the person bringing the claim that you pay some of their legal fees.
  • Complex preliminary issues such as the employment status of the person bringing the claim (if this is not agreed by the parties).
  • The number of witnesses and documents.
  • If the claim involves an alleged automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if the individual has been dismissed for legitimate trade union activity.

Key Stages

Defending a claim involves a number of different stages. The fee estimates set out below include the following stages:

  • 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.
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim from the claimant.
  • Preparing your response to the claim.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
  • Considering and responding to the claimant’s estimate of their loss.
  • Preparing for and attending a Preliminary Hearing to resolve any initial issues in relation to the claim.
  • Reviewing potentially relevant documents and exchanging documents that need to be disclosed with the claimant.
  • Reviewing the documents disclosed by the claimant.
  • Preparing witness statements and reviewing/advising on the witness statements provided by the claimant and any witnesses they have called.
  • Agreeing and preparing the bundle of documents to be used at the final hearing.
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation and attendance at final hearing, including instructions to the barrister who will represent you at that hearing.

If some of the stages above are not required, the fees would be lower than the estimated fees below. You could also reduce the fees by handling the claim yourself and only having our assistance in relation to some of the stages.

How Long Will the Process Take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of the claim depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved (in particular if you reach a settlement or go to a final hearing) and how busy the employment tribunal is.

If a settlement is reached during early conciliation, your case is likely to take 2-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 3-6 months, but may take up to 12 months. This is just an estimate and we can provide a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the claim progresses.

Estimated Fees

Taking into account the factors outlined above, we estimate the following fees:

For a simple case £30,000-£50,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements).
For a medium complexity case (e.g. an automatic unfair dismissal in the context of a business sale) £100,000-150,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements).
For a high complexity case (e.g. a high value dispute involving whistleblowing) £200,000-300,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements). 

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees, barrister’s fees, expert witness fees, bulk photocopying and specialist IT platforms to make the process of reviewing documents for disclosure more efficient. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf and then add them to your invoice to ensure a smoother process.

Barrister’s fees will depend on the seniority of the barrister and complexity of the case. These fees are split into three elements: initial advice which is charged at an hourly rate; a “brief fee” that covers preparation for the hearing and the first day of the hearing; and a “refresher fee” that covers any additional days at the hearing:

  • A senior barrister (called a “QC”) will typically charge £500 (+VAT) per hour and a refresher fee of £3,000-5,000 (+VAT) per day. The brief fee will depend on the complexity of the case and will typically range from £10,000-£50,000 (+VAT).
  • A junior barrister will typically charge £250 (+VAT) per hour and a refresher fee of £1,000-2,000 (+VAT) per day. The brief fee will depend on the complexity of the case and will typically range from £5,000-25,000 (+VAT).