If you are considering bringing a claim, one of your main concerns may be how you will pay your legal costs. We have a number of options that can take such worries away:
Many home and car insurance policies include legal expense cover. We will speak directly with the insurer on your behalf to see whether your costs can be covered by the policy.
If you do not have legal expenses insurance, in some cases, we may be able to act for you on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that you will only pay our fees if your case is won. If the case is lost, you will owe us nothing.
If neither Legal Expenses Insurance nor a No Win, No Fee Agreement is suitable, we are able to offer a fixed fee package tailored to your needs and budget.
We can also help with your case on an hourly rate, which ranges between £118 and £230 plus VAT, depending on the qualifications and experience of the person carrying out the work and the complexity of the legal issues involved.
Simple cases: £3,000- 7,000 (excluding VAT);
Medium complexity cases: £5,000 - 11,000 (excluding VAT);
High complexity cases: 10,000- 20,000 excluding VAT).
For an employer defending a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal the ranges tend to be higher:
Simple cases: £4,000- 9,000 (excluding VAT);
Medium complexity cases: £7,000- 12,000 (excluding VAT);
High complexity cases: £15,000- 30,000 (excluding VAT).
As can be seen from the above, the time spent on a case and our costs can vary significantly depending upon how complex a case is. A case is likely to be more complex (and so incur more time) if:
It is necessary to attend a long hearing;
it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim;
it is necessary to defend claims that are brought by litigants in person
it is necessary to make or defend a costs application
there are complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
the number of witnesses and documents is high
it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
there are allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
Employee settlement agreements would be much simpler and cost much less (and may be paid by the employer).
You will also need to pay for ‘disbursements’ in addition to our costs. In an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim the most common disbursements are for Advocate’s/barrister’s fees. An advocate/barrister is used to deal with a Tribunal hearing. Barrister’s fees tend to be in the region of £750- £2,000 per day. Costs vary depending on the type of hearing and the skills and experience of the advocate/barrister.
Other costs to consider
Normally you do not have to pay your opponent’s costs in an employment claim. We will advise you if we feel that you are at risk of paying costs at any stage.
The examples of typical costs above cover all the work in relation to the following key stages of an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal case:
Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on your prospects of success in the claim and the likely compensation, although this is likely to be revisited throughout the case and subject to change.
Entering into pre-claim conciliation with ACAS where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
Preparing your claim or response.
Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the other party.
Exploring settlement and negotiating a settlement throughout the process.
Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
Preparing for and attending 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 bundles of documents for the final hearing.
Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements.
Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
Preparation and instructions to the barrister (if this is not being done in-house by us) for the final hearing.
The stages set out above are an indication only and if some of the stages are not required, the fee may be reduced. Some clients may wish to attempt to handle some parts of a very straight-forward matter themselves and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also reduce the cost if your case is one where we’re comfortable that this is a sensible approach to take.
The time it takes from your initial instructions to the end of your case depends largely on the stage at which it is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim discussions, your case is likely to take up to 3 - 4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 18 - 52 weeks. This is just an illustration and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information from you and as the case progresses.
Your case will be handled by a trusted member of our experienced team.