We are obliged to provide some information as to costs of dealing with unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal cases. It is a little like asking how long is a piece of string? … Tell us the size and weight of the item being carried, and we’ll tell you all about the string needed to carry it to destination.
How much does an unfair dismissal case cost? … It depends on complexity of the facts, how much it’s worth, how the opponents behave, and whether there are additional claims to be run alongside, for example allegations of discrimination or whistleblowing.
Except where we advertise and agree a fixed fee, we will always discuss fees with you so so as to avoid surprises.
Since every case is different and every client is different, we encourage you to be very wary of price comparison by advertised fees. Unless you are dealing with a very large machine, churning business through, no fees will be confirmed until you’ve given some detailed instructions. You may then find fees are some way off the sale price advertised.
Nevertheless, we are obliged by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to provide some guide information as to our charges in respect for advice and representation in respect of ‘unfair dismissal’ and ‘wrongful dismissal’ cases. (‘wrongful dismissal’ is legal jargon for a dismissal that is, one way or another, in breach of contract.) So, as a guide prior to having any detail of your case, we can say the following:
Simplest of unfair or wrongful dismissal cases, to include a 1 day hearing, this may be in the region of £1,950 plus VAT. A similar but factually complex case (without other claims running alongside), to include a 5 day hearing, may be in the region of £20,000 plus VAT (including barrister’s fees for advocacy if a barrister is instructed).
By the time of a full hearing, the following stages of the case will have been gone through and completed:
- Taking initial instructions, reviewing documents and advising on merits and claim value (subject to review as more information becomes available as the case progresses)
- Engaging with ACAS before issue of proceedings
- Preparing claim or response
- Seeking and negotiating settlement where appropriate
- Preparing or responding to a schedule of loss
- Attending a Preliminary Hearing (for case management directions)
- Preparing lists of documents and agreeing content of a trial bundle
- Drafting witness statements
- Advising following receipt of opponents’ witness statements
- Preparation for and attendance at Final Hearing
The above stages may overlap but the earlier the case settles the less the fees are likely to be.
In some employment cases where health is an issue, medical records and reports may need to be obtained. Costs for obtaining medical records may usually be between £10 and £50 from any source. We find that disbursements of medical report fees tend to be in region £200 to £1,500 + VAT depending on complexity.
Barrister’s fees vary depending hugely depending on experience and complexity and length of any case. They may vary between £150 and £500 + VAT per hour but this will be agreed with you before any instruction.is made.
VAT is always charged at the prevailing rate (currently 20%)
When it comes to hourly rates, they are competitive with regard to skill and experience of the adviser involved. In unfair and wrongful dismissal cases, they are:
- Principal: £325 + VAT
- Partners and solicitors over 8 years post qualification : £290 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitors and Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives, over 8 years post qualification: £245 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitors and Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives, up to 4 years post qualification: £195 + VAT
- Trainee Solicitors, paralegals and other fee earners: £150 + VAT
However, so that one person is able to take ownership of a case and do the more straight forward tasks as well as the more complicated, we tend to work to a ‘blended’ single rate lower than the applicable rate to the fee earner with day to day conduct of the matter.
In more cases of particularly high value, complexity or likely to attract unusual publicity individual and blended hourly rates may be higher.
If we agree to work on a ‘no win / no fee’ basis in matters in the Employment Tribunals, our charge may be up to 35% including VAT. We would not normally expect there to be any additional charges for ‘disbursements’ except occasionally for administration charges made by third parties to provide documents, for example medical records.