The cost of defending a claim made by an employee will largely depend on how complex the case is, and we can assess this in our initial conversation with you. We can advise you on the type of claim you are facing, and the likelihood of its success.
Factors that could make a case more complex tend to be:
- A large number of witnesses or documents
- Difficult challenges, such as determining whether an employee is disabled
- Defending a claim of ‘automatic unfair dismissal’ in situations that may look suspicious in the eyes of an Employment Tribunal - for example, if the employee is pregnant, or recently made a ‘whistleblowing’ allegation.
- Applications for legal costs from the employee or your organisation
- Allegations of discrimination linked to a dismissal
- Employees that choose to defend themselves
An indication of our fees based on the complexity of cases is as follows.
Our average legal fees for key stages
£5,000 to £10,000 + VAT at 20%
Moderately complex cases
£10,000 to £30,000 + VAT at 20%
Extremely complex cases
£30,000 to £100,000 + VAT at 20%
On instructing the firm, we will assess the complexity of your case at the earliest opportunity to determine which case type your matter falls within, and will provide you with an accurate indication of your anticipated fees. We base our charges on hourly rates, which vary depending on the seniority and experience of the solicitor who carries out your work. Our hourly rates range from £200 + VAT for our non-partner fee earners and £375 + VAT for partners.
If you would like your employment solicitor to be with you during the tribunal, this will incur a further cost of £900 to £2,000 + VAT per day depending on the seniority of the solicitor involved.
As no two cases are the same, the above indication of fees should be referenced as a guide only. In the event of any conflict between this guide and our fee estimate provided on instructing the firm, our fee estimate shall take precedence.
Disbursements are payments we make to third parties for expenses such as travel costs, counsel’s fees (Barrister fees), court fees and expert fees. Once received, we will pay any disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
If your case ultimately proceeds to an Employment Tribunal hearing, a barrister would usually be instructed to represent you. Barristers tend to charge a daily fee for appearing at the tribunal itself (£750 - £3,000 + VAT per day, depending on experience), and an additional fee for preparing for the final hearing (£1,000 - £8,000 + VAT).
We will discuss all disbursements with you in advance of incurring any on your behalf.
What legal work will be included in the key stages of the case?
The fees set out below cover all the work in relation to the following key stages of your claim:
- Initial conversation about the situation, and advice on the best course of action
- Exploring whether a settlement can be reached early on (this is a mandatory requirement)
- Reviewing and responding to the claim, and advising on responses from the employee
- Exploring the potential for undertaking settlement negotiations
- Preparing for and attending any preliminary hearing (if this is required)
- Preparing documents (including agreeing a bundle of documents), and exchanging them with the other side
- Taking, drafting and finalising witness statements, and reviewing any witness statements sent to us by the employee
- Preparing bundle of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the employee’s witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation and attendance at the for the final hearing, including briefing and updating the barrister representing you (which may include a meeting between the witnesses, the barrister and ourselves prior to the hearing)
If appropriate, you can choose to negotiate a settlement package with the employee at any point during the case. This can greatly reduce your legal costs.
If there are additional stages then further costs will be incurred. Additional stages might include:
- Making or responding to additional applications, for example applications for specific disclosure, to strike out a claim, to seek additional time to take a step in the process, to seek an unless order to compel the other side to complete a step in the process
- Joining additional parties or dealing with additional parties
- Amending pleadings
- Dealing with appeals
The key stages set out above are an indication. If some of stages are not required, the fee will be lower. 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 in accordance with your individual needs.