I work as a consultant to M&S Solicitors Limited www.mslaw.co.uk. If you wish for me to provide legal advice and services, this will entail entering into a contractual relationship with M & S solicitors. Details of their charges and fee structures can be seen on their website and I am repeating here, the information about the fees for employment law work.
The nature of the work I do makes it impossible to publish set prices. Every job is different and requires a different approach.
You do not have to use a solicitor or any other form of representation to bring or defend a matter before the employment tribunal. You are quite entitled to represent yourself. You can also employ us to conduct the matter for you from start to finish, or you can conduct the case yourself, but buy help from us at certain stages as and when you need it.
I will not charge for a brief initial discussion over the telephone during which I will assess what assistance you need and whether we believe can add anything of value.
If I believe I can add value and you want to take matters further, I will offer you a fixed fee for a first interview or telephone/video meeting, to advise on your options, to confirm that advice in writing and to give initial assistance in addressing the matter whenever possible. I will agree that fee with you during our telephone call. It can be as little as £500 or as much as £1,500 (in complex cases involving significant issues) but is typically £850. These figures exclude VAT.
After that initial stage and for all other work, whenever possible I will offer you a fixed fee for a defined piece of work.
The nature of unfair and wrongful dismissal cases is that this is sometimes not possible to define precisely a piece of work at the outset and in those cases I will offer you an estimate or a budget. I will also tell you if we are likely to exceed the estimate or budget, which may be necessary if, for example, circumstances change or assumptions prove not to be correct. Typical ranges of costs for bringing or defending a claim for wrongful or unfair dismissal are:
- Simple case: £3000 to £6000 plus VAT
- Medium complexity case: £6000 to £10,000 plus VAT
- Complex case: £10,000 to £50,000 plus VAT
- Additional costs of attending a tribunal hearing: £1500 plus VAT per day. Most claims take between 1 and 4 days at tribunal.
In addition to the charge for my time, there may be disbursements. These are costs related to your matter such as travel costs, court fees, where applicable, and payment to counsel (barristers) if counsel is used in your case. These can only be fixed or estimated when I know more about your case and will be included in our budgets.
In all cases I will cost my work at our hourly rates which for this type of work are between £230 and £275 per hour plus VAT, depending on several factors, including the complexity and value of the claim, and the time in which you require the work to be done.
I will charge out of pocket expenses in addition to our hourly rate. These might include barristers’ or expert witness’ fees which can only be assessed when the details of a case are known and which will be included in my budgets or estimates.
Factors Affecting Costs
At the outset, I may be able to assess how strong the cases and how likely it is to proceed to a contested hearing. Whilst it will still not be possible at that stage to say exactly how much the case will cost in total, I will provide estimates of the likely cost depending on different outcomes.
Other factors which will affect the likely cost of an employment matters such as bringing or defending a claim for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal, include:
The detail which you provide in instructing me. I will provide you with a questionnaire and guide to preparing a written account. This explains how to set out written information which you can provide us with at the beginning of the matter. If you follow these instructions, you will in effect be writing the first draft of your own statement. This will inevitably save a considerable amount of costs.
Whether or not the claim settles. There is always, in employment matters, a strong emphasis on trying to keep matters out of the tribunal and to settle them. ACAS is designed to play a very active role in this, starting with early conciliation which you have to engage before a claim can be brought.
Whether or not there are specific legal issues in the case which need determining before the judge can decide whether the match go to a full hearing. This might require hearings over the telephone, or short hearings where we are required to attend the tribunal. This will inevitably affect the cost of your case.
Whether or not your opponent has legal representation. It is sometimes more difficult to get a matter to settle when your opponent is not receiving legal advice on how best to conduct their case.
If the matter goes to a full hearing, whether you instruct us to use a barrister to conduct the hearing. This can be a very cost-effective way of being represented at a tribunal.
It is difficult to give an indication of likely timescales in employment matters. Individuals bringing claims before the employment tribunal must start them within a specific timeframe. This varies from case to case. Thereafter, the pace at which your matter progresses will be dictated largely by the tribunal. The judge will set out a timetable for the different steps to be taken, with a hearing date, which can be anything up to a year to 18 months in the future, but for some matters, such as wrongful dismissal claims, hearings can be listed much more quickly. The timing can also be influenced by the place where your case will be heard. Some tribunal have more significant backlogs than others.
If you require more information, or to discuss an Employment matter with us, please contact me.