Employment Law – Transparency Rules

 

Our fees

Many firms operate on an hourly rate and we do so on occasions. However, where possible we will offer our clients a fixed fee which we feel assists our clients in managing their legal spend.

 

Insurance policies

Before you make any agreement in relation to our fees, we advise you that you must check any home/contents insurance policies you have in place, as they could cover the cost of bringing an employment claim either in part or in full.

Check your home insurance to see if it covers ‘legal expenses’ and specifically employment disputes.

Often an insurance company will only provide insurance cover for the period after you have presented your claim to a Tribunal. This means you are likely to have to pay privately for an initial assessment and the drafting of any ET1 and grounds of resistance. You should not be pressurised in to instructing a Solicitor simply because they are recommended by an insurance broker.

We are able to assist by liaising with your insurer if you need us to.

 

Fixed fees

Wherever possible we will quote a fixed fee for each stage of the Tribunal process. All of the below costs can vary in relation to –

Volume and complexity of the claim or claims.

Volume of documents.

Number of witnesses.

If the opposing party is a litigant in person, this often requires more time.

Dealing with applications within the Tribunal process.

Dealing with preliminary issues in more than one preliminary hearing.

If the claim has been started by a litigant in person and we have to correct any mistakes or redraft any part of the pleadings.

The following fixed fees therefore apply to straight forward cases of unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal only. Should there be additional work, then we will ensure that we notify you of this and endeavour to agree a fixed fee with you.

We may also need at some stage to review your documents, so it may in some cases require several calls, emails and meetings before we are able to provide you with a definitive assessment of your prospects. Once we have all your documents we will provide you with a fixed fee or where applicable, our hourly rate, prior to assessing your case.

Our initial engagement letter will give details of the fixed fee that we set out below the likely cost of each stage of litigation.

 

First meeting

Free of charge.

 

Subsequent meetings

£175.00-£350.00 together with VAT.

 

ACAS early conciliation

£350.00-£500.00 together with VAT.

This is a mandatory step in the Tribunal process, which requires us to complete an online form and liaise with an ACAS officer with a view to achieving a settlement for you without proceeding through the Tribunal process. Should that fail, then the next stage is the issue of a claim and the preparation of an ET1.

 

Schedule of loss or counter schedule

£350.00-£500.00 together with VAT. This schedule is calculated to assess the full value of any claims you may have. This should be drafted at an early stage to ensure you understand the value of your case and you are able to make an informed judgement in relation to any offer of settlement.

 

ET1

£500.00-£750.00 together with VAT.

This starts the legal process and has to be presented to the Tribunal in a prescribed form. It is an extremely important document, as it forms the basis of your claim.

 

Disclosure

From £500.00 together with VAT.

Both parties are required to disclose all documents relating to their case, in their control or possession whether it helps your position or not. Costs will vary on the volume of documents and the complexity of the case. Once we have all the documentation, we will provide you with a fixed fee for this stage.

 

List of issues

£350.00 together with VAT.

This is a list of all the issues in your case which are in dispute and is generally agreed with the opponent prior to the final hearing. We recommend this should be done at an early stage so we can then focus on the legal issues that the Tribunal have to decide.

 

Witness statements

Per statement – between £350.00-£750.00 together with VAT.

 

Final hearing preparation

£250.00-£500.00 together with VAT.

On many occasions there will be correspondence between the parties and last minute items following exchange of witness statements. This we will cover by one fixed fee estimate for the entire preparation of your case.

 

Preparation of your case and where required, representation at the first day

£1,000.00-£1,250.00 together with VAT.

 

For each subsequent day thereafter

£750.00 together with VAT.

 

Additional costs

We can conduct our own advocacy but will also give you the option to instruct a Barrister at any stage. Prior to instructing a Barrister, we will obtain a quote for you in respect of their fees. You will be required to settle their fee directly with them upon completion of the work.

 

Employment time scales

Most claims in an Employment Tribunal must be brought within 3 months, starting with the effective date of termination or if no termination, the last day on which the employee worked.

 

Prior to lodging a claim with a Tribunal, a Claimant is required to obtain an early conciliation certificate from ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) and this can be obtained by filing a request online.

 

In the event a claim is brought to a Tribunal, then once the claim is issued the procedural steps required will generally dictate that the claim will either be resolved by negotiation or by a final hearing in around 6 months. The dates for the procedural steps and the hearing itself are all fixed by the Tribunal and these dates will vary according to the number of cases passing through the Tribunal at the time and the number of Judge’s available to adjudicate on those cases.

 

Generally, the following time scales will apply –

Grounds of resistance – 14 days from issue of claim.

14 days from filing of grounds of resistance – parties shall send each other a list of any documents that they wish to refer to at the hearing and which are relevant to the case.

14 days from production of documents – the Respondent will be required to prepare sufficient copies of the documents for the hearing.

14 days from preparation of documents for the hearing – the parties will be required to prepare full written statements of the evidence they and their witnesses intend to give at the hearing. One week prior to the hearing if the parties are professionally represented, they will be required to prepare a statement of issues.

Most claims to a Tribunal can be dealt with by a 1 day hearing, unless they contain difficult elements of law or large volumes of documentation or numbers of witnesses, in which case the parties can request that a date be fixed allowing further time.

 

Hourly rates

Our hourly rates are as follows –

Employment Solicitors – £175.00 together with VAT.

Paralegals – £120.00 together with VAT.

Our Solicitors and Paralegals engaged in Employment Law, all have experience in all areas of Employment Law and will deal with all employment issues from settlement agreements through to the conduct of full Tribunal hearings.