If you are an employer facing a claim for unfair dismissal (or constructive unfair dismissal where the employee resigns) or wrongful dismissal (non-payment of notice), we will discuss with you your defence of the claim(s) and explore options for settlement.
As a guide only, our pricing for defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal (excluding attendance and advocacy costs at Employment Tribunal hearings) are:-
A simple case: £5,000 – £8,000 plus VAT
A medium complexity case: £8,000 – £12,000 plus VAT
A high complexity case: £12,000 – £20,000 plus VAT or more
We estimate these range of costs on the amount of time which will be involved in the defence of the case: the more complex the case is, the more time will be spent on it.
Factors that can make a case more complex:
- if it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend your response/defence or to provide further information about your response/defence;
- defending claims that are brought by litigants in person;
- making or defending a costs application;
- complex preliminary issues such as whether the employee is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties) – this may require a Preliminary hearing which takes place in advance of the Final hearing;
- the number of witnesses and documents;
- if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if it is alleged that the employee was dismissed after blowing the whistle on you;
- allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
The fees set out above cover the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:-
- taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the merits and the possible 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 (e.g. ACAS Early Conciliation);
- preparing a response;
- reviewing and advising on the claim;
- exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
- considering the employee’s Schedule of Loss;
- preparing for a Preliminary Hearing;
- exchanging documents with the employee and agreeing the bundle of documents;
- taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their contents with witnesses;
- preparing a bundle of documents;
- reviewing and advising on the employee’s witness statements;
- agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list;
- preparing for a Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.
If some of the above stages are not required, this will normally be reflected in the fees. You may wish to handle the defence of the case yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages; this can also be arranged according to your individual needs.
The costs information given is general and if you instruct us to act for you, we will give you more precise and personalised information.
There will be additional charges for attendance and advocacy by a member of this firm and/or a Barrister (Counsel) at an Employment Tribunal hearing. Unfair and wrongful dismissal claims are generally fixed by the Employment Tribunal to last between one to two days (but this can be longer if there are numerous witnesses, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of other claims made e.g. discrimination, unpaid wages, statutory redundancy payment claim etc).
If we ask a Barrister to carry out the advocacy for you at either a Preliminary or Final Employment Tribunal hearing, we will discuss with you whether we should also attend. If it is decided that we should also attend, our charges for attendance will normally be £750.00 – £1,100.00 plus VAT per day depending on the experience of the person who attends from this firm.
Disbursements eg Barristers’ fees
Disbursements are costs related to the case but are payable to third parties, such as Court fees (these do not currently apply to Employment Tribunal cases) or Barristers’ fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
A Barrister’s fees are estimated between £600 to £1500 plus VAT (depending on the experience of the Barrister) for preparation and advocacy at a one day Preliminary or Final Employment Tribunal.
If the hearing is for more than one day, the Barrister will charge an initial fee ranging from £1000 – £2250 plus VAT and then a refresher fee for the second and each subsequent day, ranging from £600 – £1250 plus VAT per day (again depending on the experience of the Barrister).
How long will the case take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions on the defence/response to the final resolution of the case depends largely on the stage at which the case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, the case is likely to take four to six weeks. If the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, the case is likely to take eight to twelve months depending upon the workload of the relevant Employment Tribunal (Employment Tribunals have become busier since Employment Tribunal claim fees were abolished).
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.
Employment cases are carried out by Julia Woodhouse who is a trusted advisor to employers. Julia qualified as a solicitor in 1995 and has specialised in Employment Law since 2000.
She is very happy to discuss your requirements with you and provide you with a tailored quote so please do get in touch.