Information on Fees – Unfair/Wrongful Dismissal Claims
We appreciate instructing a Solicitor can be daunting and costs are often the primary concern. We at Maysons want to make you feel as comfortable as possible and have a number of competitive costs options which can be considered. Our Employment Team has an excellent reputation with a very high success rate.
There are a number of funding methods available when pursuing an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal. We have set out below funding methods we offer and some useful information in respect of bringing a claim:
No Win, No Fee basis (Employee Only)
Your case would be assessed by one of our solicitors and if we agree to take it on a No Win, No Fee basis we will assist you through the ACAS Early Conciliation and Tribunal process in an attempt to resolve the case for you.
No Win, No Fee means that if you are successful with your claim then we would be paid a percentage (a maximum deduction of 35% including VAT) of any award made by the Tribunal or settlement reached between the parties plus any disbursements incurred. If you are not successful with your claim then, subject to your compliance of the agreement between us, you do not pay us anything, except disbursements incurred and agreed.
All cases dealt with on this basis are governed by the Damages Based Agreement Regulations 2013.
Unless a fixed fee is agreed in advance, our fees are calculated according to the amount of time spent by a professional adviser at his or her respective hourly rate which are normally in the region of £255 per hour plus VAT. The average costs to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal are:
Simple case: £3000 – £4000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)
Medium complexity case: £4000 – £6000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)
High complexity case: £6000 – £8000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- Whether we are acting for the Claimant and/or Respondent as the latter generally has the responsibility of bundles and has more documentary and witness evidence.
- 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 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 e.g. if you are dismissed after ‘blowing the whistle’ on your employer
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
- Length of final hearings (if it exceeds 1 day)
We understand that uncertainty about legal costs can cause anxiety. To make the process easier we offer a fixed fee service and are able to provide this at the different stages throughout your case. This will provide you a level of certainty as to costs.
We would require an initial 1 hour meeting with you where your case would be assessed and we would advise you of your options and make recommendations going forward. The costs of this meeting would be £255 plus VAT. We would then provide you with details of our fixed costs for any work you require us to undertake.
HR & Employment Law Support Package (Employer Only)
We can arrange a fixed monthly retainer to be put in place to enable you to budget your legal costs on a monthly basis. The cost of the retainer varies and depends upon the size of your business. The retainer does not cover your legal costs in relation to Employment Tribunal claims made against the business and/or employees but we can arrange insurance to cover such costs and awards at an additional cost.
The service includes telephone and email advice as well as the provision of all documentation to enable you to comply with the HR processes. We work together to ensure that all decisions are commercial, practical and applicable to the business needs.
Legal Expense Insurance Cover
It is sometimes the case that home insurance policies provide legal expense insurance cover. This often relates to employment law disputes, with the standard position being that they will provide funding once the case is issued with the Employment Tribunal. You do have freedom of choice in instructing a Solicitor and we regularly act for clients by this method of funding. Generally speaking a legal expense insurance provider will only fund a case with a chance of success over 51%.
We will make enquiries with in relation to insurance cover at our first meeting with you. If you believe that you have the benefit of a legal expense insurance policy you should advise us as soon as possible so that we can contact your insurer to take steps to arrange cover to be put in place.
Trade Union/Member Organisations
Often if you are a member of a Trade Union or Member Organisation you will benefit from legal expense cover. You should notify us of any such membership upon our instruction so that we can arrange cover for you.
A Settlement Agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your employer when you exit the organisation, under which you agree to give up the right to bring legal proceedings against your employer in return for a settlement package, which can potentially include a tax free payment.
If you are being asked to enter into a Settlement Agreement, we can usually negotiate that all, or a significant proportion, of your fees are paid by your employer. If your employer’s contribution is not enough (as the matter is complex) we will give you an appropriate estimate and will always aim to pass on any additional fees to your employer.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Barrister and Court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Barrister’s fees can vary considerably depending on experience. There is normally an initial brief fee of around £2000 – £4000 plus VAT and a daily refresher fee of £500 – £15000.
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 the claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on the 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
- 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 attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
It should be noted that the costs options above do not cover any claims or counterclaims brought against you, any appeal either party may make including any appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal or any reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
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 anticipated to conclude within 1-16 weeks. If you claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 26 – 52 weeks. Again, 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.