Example Costs for Unfair/Wrongful Dismissal Claim (Employee or Employer)
Whilst every claim will be different: some will be more complicated (either factually or evidentially or both), there will be cases where the merits of the claim will be very good and there will be other cases where the claim may not have good prospects of succeeding at the employment tribunal. Irrespective of the merits of the case the decision to pursue a claim may be determined by the costs involved in taking legal advice and support in progressing the matter formally to tribunal.
In relation the this example, the costs can vary considerably depending upon the facts, merits, evidence and legal issues that may apply to a particular case. However, as a general guide, our usual costs for dealing with an unfair and/or wrongful dismissal (whether for the Claimant or Respondent) would be as follows:
Our costs - £6,000 plus VAT of £1200
Counsel’s fee of around £2750 plus VAT of £550. Therefore the overall costs would be in the region of £8750 plus VAT of £1750 (a total cost of £10,500 ).
Its important to understand that these are estimated costs and are based upon a number of assumptions:
- The claim proceeds to a final hearing of no more than 1 day
- There is only one Claimant and one Respondent to the claim
- The claim is conducted in the Birmingham Employment Tribunal
- There is no postponement of the preliminary hearing and/or the final hearing
- The claim does not include any other claims such as unlawful deduction of wages or discrimination
- The claim does not include any counterclaims
- The total number of witnesses (for both parties) does not exceed three and are based in the West Midlands (so no requirement for us to travel outside of this area)
- No expert fees (other than in relation to Counsel)
- No judicial mediation and/or judicial assessment takes place
- There are no applications made by either party during the course of the employment tribunal proceedings
- There are no costs applications either during or after the employment tribunal proceedings
- We would not attend the final hearing as you would be represented by a barrister
- The value of the claim does not exceed £40,000
Why would my costs vary from £10,500
As a firm we usually charge for the amount of time that we work on your matter. As most of the employment claims we handle (whether for the Claimant or Respondent) will settle at some stage during the employment tribunal proceedings, this will usually mean that you will only pay for the amount of time we have spent on your matter.
By way of example, if your case settled was to settle within a month of a claim being issued then the actual costs maybe £2,500 plus VAT. This would be as a result of no costs for a barrister and a reduced amount of time we have spent on your matter
However, it is also important to note that if your matter proceeds to a final hearing and some of the above mentioned assumptions do not apply (such as the matter being listed for a final hearing in excess of 1 day or the parties engage in a judicial mediation which is unsuccessful) then this would mean that our overall costs could exceed the figure of £8,750
At the stage of a preliminary hearing the parties can opt to engage in Judicial Mediation in an attempt to settle any claim. Both parties need to agree to this for it to become applicable.
Should this be agreed, Judicial Mediation usually lasts for 1 day and takes place at the Employment Tribunal with a Judge as the mediator. Our costs to prepare and attend the mediation on your behalf will be in the region of £2,250 plus VAT (based upon an unfair and/or wrongful dismissal claim with the above mentioned assumptions) and travel expenses should the mediation take place outside of Birmingham.
In the case of a straight forward unfair and/or wrongful dismissal we would not anticipate the need to instruct Counsel, but if you wanted Counsel to attend the mediation then we would estimate his/her fee to be in the region of £1,750 plus VAT.
Disbursements may also be payable. These are are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees, barrister fees (“Counsel”) and other experts. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
On the basis of a 1 day unfair and/or wrongful dismissal claim (please see the above assumptions) we would estimate that Counsel would charge up to £2,250 plus VAT. However, there may be a variation to Counsel’s fees based upon the level of experience of the barrister i.e. the more experienced the barrister the higher his/her fee will be on the matter.
Any payment of Counsels fees will need to be paid to us in advance of instructing Counsel to attend on your behalf. We shall of course notify you in advance of this.
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter)
- Preparing a claim or a response to a claim
- Reviewing and advising on a response received from the other party
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
- Preparing a bundle of documents, to include drafting a list of documents for disclosure
- Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing if required by the Tribunal
- Exchanging documents with the other party (disclosure) and agreeing a bundle of documents
- Taking witness statements, to include drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list as the Tribunal may dictate
- Preparation for Final Hearing, to include drafting instructions / brief to Counsel (who would usually attend and represent you at this hearing)
The stages set out above are an indication of our process and if some of stages above are not required, the fee may 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 and costed on your individual needs.
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 your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take around 26 – 65 weeks. 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. The scheduling of any final hearing is done on the availability of the Employment Tribunal and so time estimates can vary from case to case.
Please Contact Us if you have any questions relating to these costs.