Employment Tribunal representation (unfair or wrongful dismissal) for business

Ashtons Legal are required to provide pricing information for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal by our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

This pricing guide is based on ordinary unfair dismissal & wrongful dismissal (breach of contract) cases only.

Disputes in the Employment Tribunal are not a commodity and are based on all sorts of variables just as individuals and their workplaces are hugely diverse. It is not uncommon for claims to include Discrimination Law and Claims under Other jurisdictions at the same time as Wrongful Dismissal and/or Ordinary Unfair Dismissal and you need expert advice on the facts of your claim or defence to make sure that all the claims and issues in the case are included properly. Furthermore, it is rare for us to advise clients to bring Wrongful Dismissal claims alone in the Employment Tribunal as the maximum value of any damages award is limited to £25,000.

Useful definitions

Here are some definitions you may find useful when following the employment tribunal process:

  • Wrongful Dismissal (breach of contract) in the Employment Tribunal: a claim that the terms of an employment contract have been broken. Often this is a failure to pay the correct notice under the contract and the damages award available is limited to £25,000 in the Employment Tribunal.
  • Ordinary Unfair Dismissal in the Employment Tribunal: an employee who has a sufficient period of service has a protection against being unfairly dismissed. NB: There are other types of unfair dismissal claim which do not require a period of service to have passed with an employer before an employee gains protection, but these fall outside this pricing guideline.
  • Employment Tribunal set up in the 1970s to provide a speedy, informal and inexpensive forum for the resolution of employment disputes, which was as accessible for employees as for employers. Click here for more information on Employment Tribunals.
  • Discrimination Law claims in the Employment Tribunal under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Claims under Other jurisdictions.

The process can be summarised as follows:

Charging rates

The pricing set out below is based on the following assumptions about your case:

  1. It involves Wrongful Dismissal or Ordinary Unfair Dismissal in the Employment Tribunal alone.
  2. You are able to provide adequate instructions and information in order for a Claim or Response to be adequately prepared giving at least 5 working days notice prior to the timescales we specify as part of the Employment Tribunal process.
  3. That you will engage fully in the provision of instructions and information to us.

Our experience is that clients wish us to charge mostly on an hourly rate basis and our rates are set out below (which are reviewed annually). However, in order to give our client’s the maximum control of their legal costs we will agree at least two fee options at the commencement of their matter (whether that be fixed fees, capped fees or some other fee arrangement). There may also be instances where you have the benefit of a legal expenses insurance policy which will contribute toward, or all, of your legal costs too and your solicitor will discuss this with you.

NamePositionHourly Rate (plus VAT)
Ross StrowgerPartner£295
Claire SleepPartner£295
Colin MakinPartner£295
Carrie MarchSolicitor£215
Jessica PiperSolicitor£195

Our experience of typical fee ranges for cases concerning Ordinary Unfair Dismissal and/or Wrongful Dismissal are:-

  • Simple case: £2,625 – £5,250 (excluding VAT)*
  • Medium complexity case: £5,250 – £10,500 (excluding VAT)*
  • High complexity case: £10,500 – £26,250 (excluding 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
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Complex preliminary issues
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • Involvement of experts.

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £1,000 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1-5 days depending on the complexity of your case.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Typical disbursements will include *Counsel’s fees (a barrister to represent you at hearings) estimated between £1,500 to 8,000 per day (depending on experience and seniority of the advocate) including their preparation time.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim (as summarised in the diagram above):

  • 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 where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on 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
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Preparing bundle 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 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.

How long will my matter 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 26-52 weeks depending on the judicial resources available in the Employment Tribunal.

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. Above all, the above information is intended as a guide only and you should only rely upon the pricing information contained in your client engagement letter as the basis for the legal agreement between us.