Range of costs
At REAL Employment Law Advice, we pride ourselves on being completely transparent, honest and open when discussing our fees.
Each of our Solicitors charges £180 per hour which includes VAT. This is the hourly rate that will be charged when we undertake work for you on a time basis.
We also offer a range of fixed fee arrangements to suit individual cases.
In addition, we have developed a bespoke package of pay monthly services for employers that is known as our HR Harbour service.
Free Initial Discussion
We offer a free telephone discussion usually up to 30 minutes with all clients to answer initial questions and provide basic advice on next steps.
During this initial telephone call, we can normally also give general ideas about costs and estimated costs.
For our business clients, we normally recommend an initial free coffee meeting, in order to fully understand your business and discuss a service which is right for you. This will allow us to produce a bespoke plan, including costs, to suit your business needs.
During our initial discussions, whether by telephone or in person we can explore the funding options which may be available, such as cover under an insurance policy or any free local advice services.
All Solicitors at REAL Employment Law Advice are experienced in employment law and HR matters and are specialists in their field. Our hourly pay as you go rate is £180 which includes VAT.
When we work for you on a time basis the charges are broken down into units of one tenth of an hour, and routine emails, letters and telephone calls will be charged as one unit, everything else will be charged on the basis of the amount of time taken.
For certain matters, we can work with you to arrange a fixed fee. This will ensure that you are always in control of your costs.
If you have a particular budget in mind or maximum spend on a monthly or weekly basis then we can normally agree to this with you in advance.
You will be incurring charges as soon as you agree to our terms of business and we open a file for you.
We will usually send bills to you at monthly intervals for work carried out in the previous month, or sooner where the value of work amounts to £500 or more or if you request us to bill you at more frequent intervals.
We require payment from the date of the invoice and will temporarily stop work if invoices remain unpaid. We will of course inform you of this at the time and give you the opportunity to rectify the situation.
In Employment Law matters it is always difficult to estimate how many hours work is required to complete a matter without having the full facts and details of the case at hand. It can also depend on how the other party behaves and the demands of the Employment Tribunal.
There may also be evidence or circumstances that develop the complexity of your case as the case proceeds.
Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal
In the majority of cases a settlement or conclusion can be reached without the need of the Employment Tribunal hearing.
We will work closely with you to achieve a speedy resolution that is right for your circumstances.
Unfortunately, sometimes a matter will need to go to the Employment Tribunal for a decision.
If a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal does have to be pursued or defended in the Employment Tribunal the fees are likely to be as follows:
Simple case: £6,000-£8,400 (includes VAT)
Medium complexity case: £8,400-£18,000 (includes VAT)
High complexity case: £18,000-£24,000 (includes 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, i.e. if an employee makes a claim without representation;
- Making or defending a costs application;
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the employee 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 an employee is dismissed after blowing the whistle on their employer;
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing and we normally advise that we arrange for a Barrister to represent you at the Hearing. In any event the charges for attending and representation at the Employment Tribunal hearing will be as follows:
1-2 day hearing: £2,500 – £3,500 (includes VAT)
2-4 day hearing: £3,500 – £5,000 (includes VAT)
5-7 day hearing: £5,000 – £7,500(includes VAT)
The number of days required for the hearing will depend on the complexity of your claims, the volume of evidence and the number of witness you and the other party have.
Key stages in an Employment Tribunal case
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
1. 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);
2. Entering into pre-claim conciliation via ACAS where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
3. Preparing claim or response forms for the Tribunal;
4. Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party;
5. Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
6. Preparing or considering a schedule of loss;
7. Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing which could be in person or by telephone;
8. Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
9. Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
10. Preparing a bundle of documents;
11. Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
12. Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list – these are documents that the Tribunal may order us to prepare or which we may decide to prepare to assist your case;
13. Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to a Barrister.
The stages set out above are an indication of generally what happens in the process. Some of stages above may not be required in which case the fee may also 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.
Additionally, if any other claims arise during discussions, such as discrimination, this can also increase the time spent on a matter and the overall cost. We will of course discuss this with you in advance so you fully understand the likely costs.
Expenses and other costs – commonly referred to as Disbursements
Disbursements are additional payments required such as, Barrister’s fees, expert witness fees and specific search fees. We will obtain your approval before incurring any disbursements.
It will be your responsibility to pay for these costs. If you have insurance cover and your insurer agrees the costs in advance they will normally cover them.
We endeavour to find the right Barrister in both experience and cost relevant to your case and budget.
We will obtain quotes from several Barrister’s in order to find the right person for you.
Barrister’s fees will depend on their experience level and are typically between £100 – £300 per hour plus VAT.
They also will need time to prepare and read through your documents which could incur additional costs.
In most Employment Tribunal cases, each side will have to pay their own legal costs and they are generally not recoverable from the losing party.
Generally, the tribunal would not order one of the parties to pay the other side’s legal costs unless it believed that they had behaved unreasonably in the way it conducted the claim or defence (e.g. it considers that the claim was so weak that it should never have been presented).
Whilst costs orders by the Tribunal are increasing in frequency they are still very rare and therefore you should always keep in mind the costs v’s benefit of pursuing or defending a claim.
For example you would need to consider carefully making an unfair dismissal claim with a value of £10,000 when the costs could exceed £10,000, meaning you would come out of the case with nothing and potentially if your case is more complex paying more in costs.
Our Solicitors will of course discuss this with you from the outset and ensure that you are fully aware of the costs and the potential benefits. We also revisit this with you on a regular basis.
How long will my case take?
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 up to a year.
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.
You should note that at the time of writing this (December 2018) the Employment Tribunals are experiencing significant delays due to the volume of cases and lack of judicial resources and therefore it is possible that even a simple case could take over a year to conclude.
You can find details about all of the staff who work at Real Employment Law Advice on our ‘Meet the Team’ page which you can access here
The Solicitors who will undertake work on your case are:
Alison is a Solicitor and founder of Real Employment Law Advice. She qualified as a Solicitor in June 2006 and since then has specialised in providing advice to Employers and Employees on all aspects of Employment Law and HR, including mediation and dispute resolution within the workplace.
Alison has experience of helping individual employees and businesses to deal with the stress that comes with problems at work and Employment Tribunal procedures.
Miranda is a Solicitor with 7 years’ experience in advising employers and employees on all aspects of employment law.
Miranda has a broad experience in employment law, including advising on disciplinary problems, grievances, workplace discrimination, TUPE transfers and Tribunal claims. She also provide bespoke training sessions to employers on how to handle common problems in the workplace.
Examples of some of the cases Miranda has advised on include:
Advising a multi-national company on the employment aspects of the sale of a mail distribution network involving the TUPE transfer of over 150 employees and implementation of a collective redundancy consultation programme;
Representing a client in his claim for harassment relating to his disability, negotiating a substantial settlement;
Acting for a head teacher in his claims for unfair dismissal and age discrimination and negotiating a favourable settlement;
Representing an employee in her high value claims for constructive dismissal and a contractual redundancy payment, securing a six figure settlement prior to trial
Miranda is supervised by Alison Colley