Employment law continues to undergo considerable and far-reaching changes; a recent example being the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations that came into effect in October 2006. All of which places an increasing burden on employers to keep pace not only with their own obligations, but also with the evolving rights of employees.
Our experienced and dedicated team can advise on the most up-to-date position and how current and new legislation affects your business; including advice on TUPE obligations. We can also act on your behalf to defend claims made by employees or negotiate terms for contracts.
We strive to build long term relationships with clients so the advice we give does not simply cater for the needs of your business today, but extends to deal with the common issues that may emerge in the future. So as your business develops and grows, you have the peace of mind of knowing associated issues have already been anticipated and attended to, wherever possible.
Our specialist advice covers:
- Contracts of employment
- Disciplinary action and grievance procedures
- Discrimination for sex, race or disability
- Employment tribunals
- Negotiation of severance packages
- Redundancy and dismissal
- Unfair and wrongful dismissal, including breach of contract
Our employment Team
John Blake heads the team and has been working in this area since he qualified as a Solicitor in 2003.
John Blake is assisted by Leighan Banks, a Solicitor in the firm who qualified in 2013 and has a great deal of experience in acting for both employees and employers.
Our pricing range for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal is as follows:
Simple case: £3,000 - £4,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £6,000 - £10,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £12,000 - £25,000 (excluding VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex include, but are not limited to the following:
- The number of Claimants or Respondents
- 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 (persons with no legal representation)
- Making applications for witness orders
- Applying for medical records of a medical report
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
- Preparation of a complex schedule of your losses as a result of the claim
- 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
- Insolvency, TUPE or collective consultation relates claims
The above range is based the hourly rates of the fee earners which range from £200 - £250 per hour (plus VAT), depending on the experience and level of the solicitor dealing with the matter. There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal hearing based on the hourly rate of the fee earner with the conduct of the litigation. Generally, cases are listed for 1 to 5 days depending on the complexity of the case.
For individuals, there may be other funding options available. You may have cover under an existing insurance policy you hold, and this will be explored at your first appointment. We can also consider undertaking the work on an agreement whereby you are only responsible for our costs if the case is successful and these costs are capped at 25% of any damages that you are awarded. This agreement is known as a Damages Based Agreement and are only offered where we assess your case as having a 60% or more chance of being successful.
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 and £2,500 per day (depending on experience of the Barrister) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation for the hearing).
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 through ACAS to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
- Preparing the claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on the 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 bundles 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 the 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 and will impact on the price outlined.
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 4-12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 20-34 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.