Employment tribunal claims are handled by our specialist employment solicitors, David Coward and Dee Woodcock, who between them have nearly 50 years’ experience of advising upon employment tribunal cases.
Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal is as follows:
- Simple case: £1,000 - £1,500 (excluding VAT)
- Medium complexity case: £1,500 - £7,500 (excluding VAT)
- High complexity case: £7,500 - £25,000 (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).
- The number of witnesses and 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.
Our pricing is based upon a charging rate of £250 per hour.
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £750 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1 to 3 days, depending on the complexity of your case.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Counsel’s fees are estimated between £500 to £1,500 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).
The fees set out above cover all 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 (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.
- Preparing 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 (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 bundle of documents.
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing or drafting instructions to Counsel to attend.
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the 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 based upon your individual needs.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes form 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 1 to 6 weeks. If you claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 26 to 39 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.
Unfair Dismissal Solicitors
We act on behalf of employees pursuing claims for unfair dismissal and for employers defending such claims.
Generally, an employee who has completed two years’ employment has the right not to be unfairly dismissed.
A dismissal will be unfair unless the employee was dismissed for a fair reason and the employer acted reasonably in all the circumstances.
If an employment tribunal finds that the dismissal is unfair, it can order the employer to re‑engage or reinstate the employee or pay the employee compensation.
Compensation is made up of two parts, namely a basic award which is calculated upon the employee’s age, length of service and pay, and a compensatory award reflecting the employee’s financial loss which would typically include loss of salary, pension, and other benefits.
We are able to advise upon the strengths and weaknesses of your case, the procedure, strategy, representation at the employment tribunal and settlement negotiations.
We have an excellent track record in defending and pursuing unfair dismissal claims for our clients.
Redundancy Law Advice
In broad terms, a redundancy arises where an employer decides to reduce a number of its employees, either within the business as a whole, or within a particular site, business unit or job role. Typically, redundancies arise from recession, changes in the nature of products or services, reorganisation, technological developments and relocation of business.
Redundancies arise in one of three circumstances, namely:
- the closure of the business altogether;
- the closure of one of several sites or relocation to a new site;
- diminished requirements of the business for employees to do work of a particular kind (often arising from a reorganisation).
Employees who are dismissed for redundancy may be entitled to a redundancy payment and, in appropriate cases, can claim that they have been unfairly dismissed.
Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal and can give an employer a defence to an unfair dismissal claim provided they acted reasonably in treating it as a sufficient reason for dismissal.
To avoid claims for unfair dismissal, employers must follow a fair procedure involving adopting a fair selection process and carrying out consultation.
We advise employers upon how to carry out fair redundancy selection and consultation processes. We can provide advice upon considering selection pools, adopting and applying fair selection criteria, how to conduct consultation meetings and the obligation to take reasonable steps to offer suitable alternative employment to employees selected for redundancy.
We advise employees upon whether employers have met their legal obligations and the merits and value of any claims for redundancy payments and unfair dismissal claims.
Departing employees are often well-placed to take advantage of an employer’s confidential information and customer connections after the termination of their employment and may attempt to use this information and their business contacts for the benefit of their new employer or in order to set up a rival business.
Employers are entitled to protect their legitimate business interests through the use of restrictive covenants. However, any restrictive covenant which restricts an employee’s activities after termination will be void for being in restraint of trade and contrary to public policy unless the employer can show that:
- It has a legitimate proprietary interest that is appropriate to protect.
- The protection sought is no more than is reasonable.
In general terms, restrictive covenants will only be enforceable if:
- They are reasonable.
- They protect a legitimate interest of the employer, e.g. its trade connections with customers or suppliers, or confidential information or maintaining its workforce stability.
- The covenants do not prevent competition per se. Restrictive covenants that have the sole aim of preventing competition will not be enforceable.
- The restrictions must be no wider than necessary. The restrictive covenant must go no further than is necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests, e.g. by being limited in time.
Whilst restrictive covenants are sometimes seen as being difficult for an employer to enforce, a well-drafted and properly thought out set of restrictive covenants will be enforceable. The worth of an enforceable set of restrictive covenants can be invaluable to an employer, even to the extent that they may make the difference between the business succeeding or failing. For employees, the consequences of breaching a restrictive covenant can include being made subject to an injunction preventing them from competing for a period of time and being ordered to pay damages to their former employer.
We have extensive knowledge of the law and practicalities that apply to restrictive covenants and regularly draft restrictive covenants for inclusion in contracts of employment and advise clients upon their enforceability.
Most employers, at some stage, will have to deal with misconduct and poor performance by a member of staff. When doing so, it is important to ensure that a fair procedure is followed as any resulting dismissal will otherwise almost inevitably be considered unfair by an employment tribunal.
Disputes concerning the conduct of disciplinary and capability investigations and hearings most commonly arise in unfair dismissal claims. We regularly advise employers upon how to conduct disciplinary and capability proceedings, advising on such matters as:
- How much investigation is required
- Who should conduct the investigation
- The employee’s right to be accompanied
- Information to be given to the employee
- How to conduct a disciplinary or capability hearing
- Ill-health and stress
We have many years of experience in advising upon disciplinary and capability proceedings and will advise you upon how to comply with your legal obligations and the Acas guidelines in the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures with a view to ensuring that you follow a fair process.