We will consider a number of different costs options:
- Agreed fee. This will be an agreed (fixed) fee which will not be varied upwards or downwards- whatever the outcome of the case;
- No win no fee which is known as a “damaged based agreement” (we will need to assess your case first).
We always do our best to be as accommodating as possible, including accepting payment by instalments. This could be an ideal solution for you, especially if it enables time for a negotiated settlement to be made with your employer- which in turn can fund the balance of instalments. Further costs information about unfair/wrongful dismissal cases can be found below.
Costs guarantee for advising on settlement agreements
Where you are being offered a settlement agreement and your employer is contributing to your legal costs, we guarantee that you will not be charged more than what your employer is prepared to contribute towards those costs for reviewing and advising you on the agreement. A typical contribution by your employer would be between £250 and £500 plus VAT.
If your employer is seeking to introduce new restrictive covenants (which are effectively the introduction of new contractual terms), this is likely to be outside the ambit of the costs guarantee and would incur a limited additional charge if you needed advice on this. This is because new covenants of this nature require detailed consideration as they can affect your future career and are not usually part of a standard settlement agreement. If you did not wish to take separate detailed advice in relation to the restrictive covenants, there will be no additional charge.
If you would like us to consider and advise in detail on the provisions of your contract of employment, again this is outside the remit of a standard review of a settlement agreement, and this may incur an additional charge.
Free initial advice
Costs in more detail for unfair dismissal cases
As we are a boutique law firm specialising in one niche area, we are highly competitive on costs.
Many cases are capable of being settled without tribunal proceedings, and we have a high success rate in this regard.
Negotiations without tribunal proceedings
For routine unfair dismissal claims, we will do our best to offer you a no win- no fee option (“damages based agreement”) if this is your preference. This means if we successfully negotiate a settlement for you, or win your case at tribunal, the fees will typically be 25% (plus VAT on that sum of 20%) of any sum we recover for you. So, for example, if we recover £20,000 for you, the fees would be £5,000 plus VAT = £6,000. You would pay us at the end of the case, when the settlement monies have been received by you.
We will also offer you the option of an agreed fee rate, as mentioned above. This means the rate cannot be varied up or down (whatever the outcome of the case) and is therefore fixed in nature. Along with the option of a possible no win-no fee funding, our clients usually find these alternatives highly attractive when compared to the “open ended cheque book territory” of hourly rates. In our experience, clients much prefer certainty when it comes to funding their case, rather than the shock of a constant stream of interim bills which they have not budgeted for.
Depending on the complexity of the case, an agreed fee rate would on average range between £950 and £3,500 plus VAT to deal with all the steps right up to, but not including issuing tribunal proceedings. This is the time period when most cases are likely to settle, and it includes fully reviewing your case, including all relevant documentation, advising you and conducting all negotiations with your employer.
In the rare cases where we do offer hourly rates, this would be between £325 and £475 and hour, plus VAT at 20% depending on the seniority of the lawyer advising you.
There should be no additional disbursements where we are trying to negotiate a settlement for you, except in very rare circumstances where we need to seek additional expert advice from a barrister. You will always be notified first if you wish to incur such a disbursement or not. You should you have to make any other additional payments to us from your damages, except for the no win- no fee element of your fees.
Where tribunal proceedings are necessary
If tribunal proceedings are necessary, then we would need to review the funding for this at the time. We would either carry on with the no win- no fee funding, or enter into an agreed (or further agreed) rate to cover the periods of the process leading up to and including the tribunal hearing. Those fees are on average between £1,250- £1,850 plus VAT to prepare and issue the proceedings at the tribunal, and between £6,000- £15,000 plus VAT to take it right up to the tribunal hearing. The fees will be less this if the case settles at any point prior to a full hearing. It may also be necessary to instruct a barrister for the hearing who can charge on average £2,500 plus VAT for a 1 day hearing in tribunal (including all preparation). This is known as a disbursement.
Wrongful dismissal claims are very rare. The maximum amount that can be awarded at tribunal is £25,000 and this usually involves a claim of breach of contract for non- payment of notice. If we took your case on, then the fees would reflect the position set out above for unfair dismissal. If the sum claimed is higher than this, the claim would need to be brought in the civil courts, rather than employment tribunal and we would not deal with this as it is more of a litigation issue. We are not including our fees for wrongful dismissal through the courts, because it is not something we would deal with, and so there are no averages or specifics that we can provide.
Many cases are capable of being settled within a few weeks or even days from when we are first instructed, and so the fees can often be contained. Of course it can take longer than this and in some cases where we are entering into negotiations, this can go on for months. This is something which is not in our control as it will largely be governed by how quickly your employer responds to communications. Even where negotiations do drag on, we still have significant settlements achieved. Perseverance definitely pays off.
Qualifications and experience
Any of our lawyers who will work on your case are qualified solicitors and have significant experience in employment law- after all, this is the only work that we do. All of our lawyers have a minimum of 3 years experience, and the supervisor has 30 years experience.
In some cases, our paralegals will liaise with you in relation to the mechanics of your case and will provide a support role, however only qualified solicitors will be advising you and dealing with the day to day interaction with your employers and/or their solicitors.
We are happy at any time to clarify our costs any of the above, together with other employment law claims.