Employment Tribunal – Unfair & Wrongful Dismissal Employment Tribunal – Unfair & Wrongful Dismissal
Unfair Dismissal and/or Wrongful Dismissal employment claims form a large proportion of all Employment Tribunal claims. Most claims need to be presented to the tribunal within three months (less 1 day) of the date they arise. It is slightly longer, namely 6 months, for redundancy claims. Currently, Employment Tribunal Fees are no longer applicable. The Tribunal will only extend the deadline for claims presented late in very limited circumstances, including if the ACAS Early Conciliation procedure is followed. Where the claimant participates in early conciliation, the date will in most cases be extended. Another key point to note is to consider whether the employment tribunal is the appropriate form to bring a claim.
- Our Costs
Our time is charged on an hourly basis when acting in relation to all employment claims. Our hourly rates range from £150 plus VAT per hour to £595 plus VAT per hour depending on the seniority of the solicitor required. Very senior solicitors will only be involved in complex matters. Every claim differs from the other and so do the clients requirements. It is therefore very difficult or almost impossible for us to provide a definitive number of hours which it takes to issue a claim and follow the Court’s ‘directions’.
In certain instances, we may agree a fixed fee for taking initial client instructions, considering any relevant documents and providing initial advice and guidance.
We will always provide our clients with time estimates where possible and keep them updated as to the amount of time spent. We will produce detailed breakdowns of time spent on a regular basis and deliver interim bills as and when possible. Our aim is to be clear and transparent at all times by billing regularly and keeping you updated. Please note that we will also request a payment of funds on account at the outset of our instructions.
It may also become necessary during the course of our instructions to instruct legal experts or to pay disbursements (expenses paid to third parties on your behalf) such as barrister’s fees and court/tribunal fees. (Employment Tribunal Fees are generally usually no longer applicable). We will never make any such payments without your prior authorisation. If we are dealing with cross jurisdictional estates, then the fees of any foreign lawyers will also be notified to you in advance.
- Chargeable Activities
Chargeable activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Considering the matter
- Taking your instructions throughout the matter
- Providing initial advice and drafting client care/retainer letter or e-mail
- Obtaining and verifying due diligence documents from you, any related persons and companies
- Completing the file opening process
- Preparing bills of costs
- Collating documents and preparing bundles
- Drafting detailed breakdowns of bill of costs/time recording
- All incoming and outgoing correspondence including emails and letters
- Telephone calls
- Meetings with you and others
- Preparation of court pleadings, applications, documents and attendance notes
- Drafting and preparation of documents
- Legal research
- Monitoring and complying with deadlines
- Photocopying and scanning of documents
- Advising you throughout the matter
- Answering any questions you may have
- Providing you with copies of documents and correspondence
- Instructing counsel and/or experts
- Bank transfers
- Travel time to and from the court or meetings; and subsistence cost.
Please note that the majority of our correspondence will be by way of e-mail.
- Average Cost
It is impossible to predict how much our total fees will be in order to act on behalf of a client in bringing or defending an employment claim. The overall cost will depend on various factors which we outline below.
However, our average cost for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are estimated as:
- Simple case: £7,500 – £10,000 plus VAT
- Medium complexity case: £10,000 – £20,000 plus VAT
- Highly complexity case: £20,000 – £50,000 plus VAT
Please note that this is only an average estimate and the final amount could be less or importantly, could end up being more. Factors that could make a case more complex and therefore more costly include:
- 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 supporting documents / evidence
- 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 length of hearings
- The level of negotiations involved and whether those negotiations materialise into a settlement (to include ACAS Negotiations if applicable)
The process is likely to take up to 12 – 18 months from start to completion. This could be shorter if a negotiated settlement is reached and if the proceedings run smoothly.
However, you should bear in mind the reality that:
- More complex claims are likely to take longer to conclude than more straightforward claims
- Timescales can be affected by factors outside of our control, including:
- The efficiency of the Employment Tribunal service (for example when dealing with correspondence or listing your case for hearing)
- The approach and responsiveness of your opponent
- How quickly and efficiently you provide us with your instructions and any required information.