If you are a business owner or manager, you just might be returning after the Christmas break to a big disciplinary headache or two, resulting from over exuberant merry making by staff at the office Christmas party. Although most office parties are...
The range of costs for taking or defending a case of unfair or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal is dependent on its complexity, for example, other claims being brought within the unfair/wrongful dismissal claim such as discrimination will impact on the costs estimate given to you. You may also have other funding options available such as cover under an insurance policy. We will discuss your funding options with you at your first appointment.
Factors that could make a case more complex include.
- 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 for example, if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer.
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
The Key Stages of Employment Tribunal claims and how much they cost?
- 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). The cost is likely to be between £200 to £600 plus VAT. If a barrister’s opinion is needed, the barrister’s fee is likely to be between £200 to £1,000 plus VAT, in addition to our costs.
- Entering pre-claim conciliation, where this is mandatory, to explore whether a settlement can be reached and preparing documentation that sets out the factual detail of the claim and the legal basis for it.
- Drafting the claim or response. The cost is likely to be between £600 to £2400 plus VAT. If a barrister drafts the documentation, we anticipate the barrister’s fees to be between £600 to £2400 plus VAT in addition to our costs.
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party. The cost is likely to be between £200 to £400 plus VAT. If a barrister is instructed in your case the cost is likely to be between £200 to £600 plus VAT in addition.
- Exploring settlement and negotiation settlement throughout the process. The cost is likely to be £200 to £600 plus VAT.
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss. The cost is likely to be £1000 to £1600 plus VAT.
- Preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing, preparing a bundle of documents, exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents. The cost is likely to be £400 to £2600 plus VAT.
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses. The cost is likely to be £1,000 to £10,000 plus VAT.
- Preparing bundle of documents (trial bundle) (if acting for the respondent), reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements, agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list. The cost is likely to be £600 to £5000 plus VAT.
The stages set out above are an indication. If all stages are required then our costs can range from £4,500 plus VAT to £27,500 plus VAT, depending on the complexity and amount of documentation involved. If some stages are not required or you choose to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages, then our overall fees will be reduced. We can tailor our service and charges to your particular circumstances and needs.
Additional costs and disbursements
Disbursements are the costs of third parties that we incur on your behalf. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. These will be recharged to you. We set out an indication of the disbursement costs we anticipate, although the costs of disbursements may fluctuate.
- Counsel’s fees estimated between £1000 to £4000 per day (excluding VAT) (depending on the experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing. Refresher fees for each day of the hearing at a slightly lower rate than the first day’s fees. The total costs will be dependent on the length of the tribunal hearing. Please note that barristers set their own fees according to their experience and the complexity of the work, and we are not responsible for what they charge but we will recommend a barrister suitable for your case and obtain a quote for their fees for your agreement prior to instructing them.
How long will a Tribunal claim take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matters 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 28 days. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take between 4 months to 1 year from the date the claim is lodged. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale as the matter progresses.