Pricing for Employment Tribunal Claims
At IBB Law we like to, in very clear and simple terms, respond to the principal questions that clients have about working with a solicitor, namely;
- What are you going to do for me?
- What aren’t you doing for me?
- Who is going to do it?
- When will it be done by?
- How much is it going to cost?
In relation to our costs, we have a philosophy of ‘no surprises’. That puts the onus on us to address the questions above as transparently and as simply as possible.
As far as practicable, we also endeavour to provide clients with pricing choice. This recognises the fact that clients have different priorities and even the same client can have different pricing and payment priorities on different transactions or matters.
When we provide you with an estimate we will also provide you with a job specification that answers in clear and straightforward terms the questions set out above.
For illustration purposes only, we set out below an example of our pricing approach to bringing or defending employment tribunal claims for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal. Within the example, we have made some assumptions about what you may need and have also included some of the most common factors which may increase or decrease our pricing estimate.
Our charges will normally be calculated by reference to hourly rates (as per the schedule below) agreed for the particular matter although we are prepared to consider alternative fee structures on a case-by-case basis.
All legal fees and disbursements incurred will be subject to applicable standard VAT at the prevailing rate (currently 20%).
Example Pricing – for bringing tribunal claims for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal
Simple case: £15,000 – £20,000 (plus VAT)
Medium complexity case: £20,000 – £30,000 (plus VAT)
High complexity case: £30,000 – £60,000 (plus VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- if it is necessary to make applications – eg. to amend claims; to request or provide further information about an existing claim; for disclosure of specific documents; for a claim or response to be struck out
- complex preliminary issues, eg. whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties); whether the claimant was dismissed; whether the claimant has the qualifying length of service
- the number of witnesses
- the number of documents
- how many days the final hearing is listed for (and how delayed that hearing is)
- if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim
- if it is a constructive dismissal claim
- allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
- making or defending a costs application.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter, such as photocopying, travel and accommodation costs, or the costs of a barrister (counsel) to conduct the advocacy at any hearings. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. For example, Counsel’s fees are estimated to be between £1,500 plus VAT to £7,500 plus VAT per day (depending on experience of the advocate and the complexity/length of the case) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation), although the actual fees may be more or less than this. We would requirement payment in advance from you before incurring the cost of any disbursement.
The estimated fees set out above would cover work in relation to the following key stages:
- taking initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising on merits of bringing or defending a tribunal claim (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
- entering into Acas early conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached to avoid having to bring or defend a tribunal claim
- preparing the claim or response
- reviewing and advising on the response or any amended claims
- exploring and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- preparing for (and attending) a preliminary hearing, if ordered by a tribunal
- dealing with a tribunal’s directions: (a) preparing a schedule or counter-schedule of loss (b) exchanging documents with the other party (c) agreeing a bundle of documents with the other party (d) preparing witness statements and agreeing their content with you and any witnesses you may have
- reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- agreeing a list of issues, a chronology of events and/or cast list
- preparation and attendance at final hearing, including instructions to a barrister (if appropriate).
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, our costs will be less. 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 based on your individual needs.
How long will your matter take?
The time that it takes from taking initial instructions to the final resolution of the matter depends largely on the stage at which the case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during Acas early conciliation, the case is likely to take 2-6 weeks. If the claim proceeds to a final hearing and is listed for one day is likely to take 9-12 months*. 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. (*due to the backlog with employment tribunal listing cases this could be up to 18 months)
Every claim is different and every client has specific needs. Having taken a look at these examples, if you wish to speak to us further, please give us a call or send us an email. We will be happy to answer any questions or provide clarification. We will need additional information to give you a more accurate estimate, and we can discuss any issues of urgency or particular circumstances that you think we ought to know. Once the details are agreed, we will send out normal client care and engagement documentation and you can decide whether you wish to proceed.
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