We are committed to providing a transparent approach to our fees in all areas of law and we pride ourselves on doing so. It is, however, difficult to anticipate fees for most matters until we have obtained from you an idea of what you need from us. In our client care letter and other communications with you, we will provide you with fee estimates and cost updates to the best of our ability.
For us, part of giving outstanding customer service is ensuring that we offer our clients the widest possible range of fee options. We want our clients to be able to access our services. We are therefore always open to discussing how we might best facilitate that.
Our most common funding arrangements for Legal Services and Investigation Services include:
- Pay as you go. Our hourly rates range between £225 and £350 (plus VAT at 20%), depending on the type of work and the fee-earner
- Fixed fees. We will agree with you what work we will do, either by reference to particular tasks or getting to a particular stage, and we fix the price for that work
- Damages-based agreements. Under the Damages Based Agreements Regulations 2013, we are able to enter into a contract with our clients to provide services on a contingency basis. In other words, if we are unsuccessful you don’t pay anything. If we are successful, we are paid a percentage of your damages. In most cases this is capped at 35% inclusive of VAT (charged at 20%)
- Conditional Fee Arrangements. Similar to Damages-based agreements, these are agreements whereby paying the whole or part of the fee is conditional upon an event defined between us such as winning your case or achieving a certain outcome. These would more commonly apply to matters in the civil courts
- [For corporate clients only] Retainer. We receive a fixed monthly fee regardless of whether you call upon our services or not. If you do, we provide those services either at no further cost or at reduced cost, up to a pre-agreed limit.
For mediation services, our fees will generally be dictated by the size and type of dispute (see our Fees table) but also upon availability of a relevant subject-matter expert where appropriate.
For HR Consultancy services please see separate section below.
Employment Tribunal Claims
Many Employment Tribunal claims will involve complex areas of law. However, to give you an idea of what a typical unfair (and wrongful) dismissal claim may cost (for both individuals and employers), the following sets out our typical fees for such claims:
- Simple case: £4,000-£7,000 (plus VAT at 20%)
- Medium complexity case (which may involve complex facts, significant evidential material and/or a claim or claims in addition to an unfair dismissal claim, such as discrimination): £7,000-£20,000 (plus VAT at 20%)
- High complexity case (which would usually involve complex facts, significant evidential material and a claim or claims in addition to an unfair dismissal claim, such as discrimination): £20,000+ (plus VAT at 20%).
Please note – many cases are settled prior to a Tribunal hearing meaning costs will be lower than we have set out.
The type of factors that could make a case more complex include the following:
- 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
- Preparation for and attendance at any preliminary hearing, including complex preliminary issues, such as employment/worker status, time limits, whether the claimant is disabled etc. (if this is not agreed by the parties)
- The number of witnesses and documents
- The issues in the case – allegations of dishonesty or conspiracy are harder to prove and require considerably more preparation to execute successfully
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
- Making or defending a costs application
- Preparation for and attendance at a separate remedy or costs hearing.
We would usually use our own firm to provide you with the best possible advocacy at a Tribunal hearing, although we may also instruct external Counsel, in which case their fees are known as ‘disbursements’. Counsel’s fees (whether internal or external) for attending a Hearing are usually as follows (and are dependent on seniority of Counsel and the complexity of the case):
- Simple case: £850-£1,750 (excluding VAT which, if applicable, will be charged at 20%)
- Medium complexity case: £1,500-£2,500 (excluding VAT which, if applicable, will be charged at 20%)
- High complexity case: £2,500+ (excluding VAT which, if applicable, will be charged at 20%).
The above fee estimates are a daily rate to attend the Hearing. An initial preparation fee will also be payable, which will usually include the cost of the first day’s hearing as well and will depend on the facts of the case.
Should it be necessary for a second person from this firm to also attend a Tribunal Hearing then this will usually be charged at a daily rate of between £850 and £1,200 (plus VAT at 20%).
When an unforeseen complexity arises or additional work is required, we will advise you of this and provide revised costs information.
You may also incur disbursements, which are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees or expenses e.g. travel and accommodation expenses. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process and will advise you of any required disbursements.
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim (of which some or all will be necessary depending on the complexity of the claim):
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely damages/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 the 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
- Considering the other party’s disclosed documents
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
- Preparing bundles of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- Agreeing lists of issues, chronologies, cast lists etc.
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing.
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 according to your individual needs. If you are relatively competent, this is likely to save you money although, if you require significant support, it may not do so.
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. In some cases, we can resolve matters prior even to issue to the ET1 (which is the claim form), in which case it may be a matter of weeks. If your case proceeds to a full hearing, it can take anything between six months and 18 months. Unfortunately, the Tribunal system is not a particularly fast one at this point and so it is difficult for us to give you a time estimate. We will however keep you updated as to likely timescales as your case progresses.
In addition to the above, we provide our HR consultancy services under one of three packages:
Virtual HR Advisor
Basic Contract and Policy package; telephone support.
Virtual HR Manager
As per the HR Advisor package but additionally includes Comprehensive Contract and Policy package; on-site support for any formal employee relations processes.
Virtual HR Director
As per the HR Manager package but additionally includes leading on formal employee relations processes, including chairing hearings/appeals; 1 day per month attendance at board/management meetings; quarterly strategic advice.
Should you be interested in any of the above packages we will discuss with you in detail your requirements, ensure we understand your business, and provide you with a quote.