CLEAR AND SIMPLE COSTS
We understand that all our clients want to be in control of their legal costs.
We aim to be as open and informative as possible about this subject.
Our legal costs are based on hourly rates, which we will confirm at the start. Our rates are very competitive, compared to other solicitors of similar expertise and experience.
We usually invoice on a monthly basis to keep you informed over costs and we are happy to update you as often as you wish.
FREE INITIAL DISCUSSION
Firstly we always offer an initial phone discussion with all our new clients free of charge. We will listen to your concerns and can often give some initial advice. Please feel free to pick up the phone, without any obligation at all.
We are also happy to answer your questions about costs at this stage.
COST GUIDANCE IN ADVANCE
We are always willing to provide you with cost guidance in advance of any work on request.
In many cases, such as business contracts and property transactions, we can give you a fixed quote before we start.
In disputes, such as employment claims or commercial litigation, and in work involving a process of negotiation, it is harder to predict in advance exactly how much work will be required to finish the project. However, we can still offer you advance guidance over the costs of each stage and/or to contact you each time we reach a cost milestone.
Please ask any questions you have about costs in our initial discussion.
Settlement Agreements typically include a cost contribution from your employer. This is usually enough to cover the cost of meeting you and reviewing the agreement.
If you then decide to accept the agreement, the contribution will usually cover all your costs.
If you decide to renegotiate, we will usually try to obtain a higher contribution from your employer.
Sometimes in larger and more complex cases, the employer’s contribution won’t cover all your legal costs. Often, this is more than covered by additional compensation, but we will discuss this with you in detail at our first meeting.
EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL CLAIMS
Our costs for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal, depend on two main things;-
The complexity of your case; and
How quickly it can be resolved.
We usually start with a detailed meeting to understand the claim, to review any papers and to advise you over your prospects. Typically the cost of this exercise will be between about £250-£500 plus VAT and we can be more specific when you initially contact us about your case.
The simplest cases often settle quickly. In cases of this kind, your total legal costs might be no more than say £1,000 plus VAT.
Most cases settle at some point, though often closer to the hearing date after the parties have filed a claim and response, exchanged documents and witness statements. The total costs involved depend on many factors including complexity and how close the case gets to the hearing. In every case, we will keep you informed of costs regularly, usually monthly, so that you can keep track.
Only a small proportion of cases go to a full tribunal hearing. This may be listed for a single day or for several days. Both sides usually instruct specialist barristers to conduct the hearing itself, and a typical barrister might charge between £500-£1,000 plus VAT for each day, depending on experience. We will always agree on these costs with you in advance.
You may also ask us to deal only with specific stages of the tribunal claim, such as drafting the claim or response. Typically that would involve costs of between about £250-£500 plus VAT, but again we can be more specific when we know about your claim. In that case, you might choose to represent yourself at the hearing itself, to save costs, especially if the case is very straightforward.
If you have a legal expenses insurance policy covering employment claims, although your insurers will typically ask you to use their panel solicitors, they will often agree to you nominating your own solicitors. We do represent a number of clients in this way.
EMPLOYMENT CLAIMS – THE KEY STAGES
Lodging a Claim
Receiving a Response
Dealing with any settlement negotiations throughout the claim
Sometimes attending a preliminary hearing, though usually this only involves solicitors
Exchanging relevant documents and preparing a bundle for the tribunal
Preparing evidence and witness statements
Calculating the size of the claim
Preparing legal arguments
Preparing for and attending the final hearing
Assessing compensation if successful
As to timescales, a tribunal claim usually needs to be started within 3 months after termination. Many cases settle, and that may happen at any time from the start, right up until just before the hearing. In the small proportion of cases where a hearing is necessary, nowadays a typical case takes many months to reach that stage because the tribunals are exceptionally busy.