Before providing any estimate of costs it will be necessary for us to find out more about what it is that you would like us to undertake for you. This is because the costs will vary not only according to the amount of work and time required to complete a matter but on the expertise required.
Our charges for employment advice range from £90 per hour plus VAT for a paralegal to £220 per hour + VAT for a Director.
We offer a free consultation service of up to an hour so that you can tell us about your case. We provide initial advice to you to help you to understand its issues, the costs involved and suggest a time scale.
If you then decide to instruct us, we will provide you with a cost estimate. The provision of this cost estimate, which is based upon an detailed assessment of your case is likely to cost £200 to £500 plus VAT depending on the time taken to prepare it. We will advise of the expertise needed and the hourly rate of the lawyer who will undertake your case.
We may be able to offer you a fixed fee once we understand what your case is about and how complicated and time consuming it may be.
As the matter progresses the following additional charges are examples of those that may be required to be added on top of your initial costs estimate. We shall let you know which ones we consider are applicable to your case:
• Photocopying charges for hearing bundles.
• Fees incurred for instructing experts to receive their advice, for example for medical advice. These additional charges will depend on the expert concerned and their hourly rates.
• Counsel’s/barrister’s fees. To be paid to the advocate who will argue your case at the Hearing. This depends on the experience of the advocate chosen and their hourly rates may be between £850 and £3,000 per day plus VAT. If you require our attendance in addition to Counsel’s attendance then this will be an additional expense calculated on the hourly rate of your adviser
• Travel expenses
Employment Tribunal cases
Should you require us to advise you and to conduct your case in Employment Tribunal proceedings then it would be sensible to budget for the following:
A straightforward case may incur fees of around: £2,500- £5,000 (plus VAT)
A case which is fairly complex and time consuming may incur fees of around: £5,000 – £10,000 (plus VAT)
A case which is complex and requires a high input of expertise and time may incur fees of around: £10,000 – £30,000 (plus VAT)
Costs are incurred throughout the various stages of a tribunal case as set out below. Generally they are all calculated on the hourly rate of the lawyer assigned to your case. These stages are as a guideline only. Some cases may not require all of the stages before its conclusion and this will result in lower costs.
Pre-claim conciliation is a pre-requisite to the making of any claim. We can advise on this. Settlement may be reached during this time within one to two months.
If no settlement is achieved a claim may be brought.
If you are an employee bringing a claim:
Drafting ET1 (claim form for an Employment Tribunal to be sent to employer)
Receiving and considering an ET3 from employer and advising (response to ET1 claim)
Preparing a schedule of loss
If you are an employer defending a claim:
Receiving and considering an ET1 from employee and advising
Drafting ET3 (response to claim form for an Employment Tribunal)
Considering a schedule of loss
All employment tribunal claims whether employee or employer
Exploring the possibility of, or negotiating upon settelement.
Preparing for and attending a Preliminary hearing if applicable (Nearest tribunal to Dorchester is Southampton : attendance fee of at least half a day plus travel time)
Preparing and exchanging documents with opposing party
Taking and drafting witness statements. Liaising afterwards with witness regarding their content.
Considering the opponent’s witness statements
Agreeing lists of issues, a chronology and cast list (as ordered) with the opposing party
General preparation for hearing
Hearing bundle preparation costs if a party is responsible for bundles (It is usual practice for the employer to undertake this task – please note there may be additional photocopying charges to be added. It is not unusual for bundles to take 15 hours to index, paginate and prepare copies)
Preparation of instructions and briefs to Counsel where appropriate
Counsel fees (these vary widely depending upon expertise. In a straightforward case a reasonable figure to budget for is £150 to £200 per hour plus VAT)
Trial (costs depend upon the complexity of the case but a day in the tribunal is not likely to be less than £1500 plus VAT)
Liaison with the Tribunal to get written judgment and to advise on appeal if appropriate and other post hearing work
The costs on any case are likely to increase in the following circumstances:
* if the matter involves a complex area of the law such as discrimination claims or automatic unfair dismissal cases
* if there are voluminous documents to consider
* if the litigation is very document heavy such as the hearing bundle is large
* if there is more than one witness,
* if there are multiple claimants or respondents
* If you are defending claims brought by litigants in person
* Where there is a need to amend claims, or provide further details on a claim or make/defend applications during the process
* Where we encounter delays to the process caused by the Employment Tribunal or other parties
* Where there are multiple hearings such as where the judge requires that there are to be smaller hearings before the tribunal or on the telephone
* Where there is a high number of witnesses (more than 2)
* Where the case in the Tribunal lasts more than one day
* Where there are automatic unfair dismissal claims
* Should there be a need to enforce a tribunal judgment.
You can decrease the costs which are incurred by taking the following action:
* Organising and making sure that all documents you wish us to consider are in date order
* By providing a list of all the documents that you have sent to us and setting out the date on which they were created. Please ask us for a template which you can used to help you with this.
* Putting documents into electronic format, such as by scanning and sending them to us.
* By providing a word document which sets out what your case is about from the beginning to the end, in date order.
* By preparing your own witness statement, we will help you by providing you with a template document
* By accepting sensible offers of settlement if they are received from the opposing party which avoids the need for a hearing.
Timescales for hearing of claim in the employment tribunal
The Employment Tribunals are under resourced at the current time and we are experiencing delays in getting matters listed and heard before a tribunal. Many cases are settling short of the hearing date because of this and in those cases no hearing is required. If a hearing is necessary we are seeing matters listed between eight months and a year from the first preliminary hearing before the judge.