As we solely practice employment law we are experts in our field and have a wealth of experience in advising individual employees at all levels on unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy, equal pay, flexible working, maternity and paternity rights as well as representing clients at Employment Tribunal.
So whether you feel you have been unfairly dismissed or discriminated against or you have been asked to sign a settlement agreement (previously known as a compromise agreement) call Astons Solicitors. Our aim is to offer clear, concise and professional legal advice at reasonable rates.
Overview of costs
There are a number of ways to fund a Tribunal case. You may have other funding options available, such as cover under an insurance policy, and we will check that with you at your first appointment.
We do offer arrangements like conditional fee or damage-based agreements if we consider your case suitable for such a funding arrangement. This is dependent on prospects and the value of your claim. All of these options will be discussed with you in the initial meeting or during the initial assessment of your case.
Types of cases
It is a requirement of the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) that we display information about the potential costs of bringing or defending a case of unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal before the Employment Tribunal. It is rare that cases just concerning unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal only are brought as often you will have additional claims to bring or defend which can make the case more complex and thus costly.
Simple case: £5,000 -£10,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £10,000-£20,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £20,000 -£50,000 (excluding VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- 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)
- Having a preliminary hearing
- Issues over disclosure of documents and having to ask the Tribunal to order specific information be disclosed
- The number of witnesses and statements that need to be prepared and read
- The volume of 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
- The more claims you have the more complex this makes your case
Postponements being granted due to issues with the listing
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as medical report fees and fees paid to present your case to the Tribunal at a hearing for a barrister or representative. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Advocacy fees are paid to counsel or advocates and they normally charge a higher first day rate to include preparation depending on the time estimate for the case. This is called a brief fee and the more days a case is listed for the more this will be as the level of preparation will be higher. Brief fees estimated between £1,500 (plus VAT) to £2,250 (plus VAT) per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation). In addition to the brief fee a lower daily rate is charged for the second and any further days of hearing. This is called a refresher. A refresher is estimated at between £750 plus VAT to £1,000 plus VAT per day.
In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain medical evidence. Doctors often make a charge for copies of your notes and reports and this can range from £40 to £250. If expert evidence is required from a medical specialist this can increase the costs significantly. For example; in a disability case to show you are disabled or to show your injury to feelings in a discrimination case. The specialist will charge for consultations, reports and attendance at Court if this is required. Typical costs range from £2,000 to £9,000 depending on the professional and the amount of work they need to do. We can obtain fee quotes in advance.
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 if this is not dealt with in the initial appointment/review (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 including a letter before action;
- Preparing the claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
- Preparing for 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 a bundle of documents or reviewing the same
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation for Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
- The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. 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 on your individual needs. The fees quoted do not include an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Experience and qualifications of our lawyers providing employment tribunal services:
How long will my matter take?
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 likely to take 4-16 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 20-52 weeks.
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.
The Employment Tribunal is currently experiencing a high demand for hearings and as such hearings are being listed nearly 12 months away. This can depend on the Tribunal at which your case is being heard and also whether a preliminary hearing is required as this will make the estimate longer. These are all factors outside of our control and your solicitor will be able to provide you with an estimate accordingly to their knowledge of the Tribunal where your claim will be heard.
Employment Law Work
Please click on the below links for more information about specific areas of employment law
- Unfair and Constructive Dismissal
- Statutory Rights
- Pay, Bonus and Other Benefits
- Bullying, Harassment and Victimisation
- Restrictive Covenants
- Settlement Agreements (Previously known as Compromise Agreements)