Fees

My normal hourly rate is £295 plus VAT and I record the time I spend on your matter in units of six minutes.

When advising on settlement agreements for individuals, I tend to charge a fixed fee which typically ranges from £500 plus VAT if the matter is straightforward to £1,500 plus VAT for more complex matters.

My firm does very little litigation (usually because it is my clients’ interests to seek a settlement instead, whether the client is an employee or employer).

It is always difficult to estimate fees but I would normally expect them to be as follows, for bringing and defending claims in the Employment Tribunal:

  • simple case: £8,000-£15,000;
  • more complex case: £15,000 – £25,000; or
  • high complexity case: £25,000 – £80,000.

Those amounts assume the case is for unfair dismissal and are exclusive of VAT. Claims of discrimination or whistle blowing tend to be around twice that amount as they are invariably more detailed and complex. Other factors which can make a claim more complex to bring or defend are as follows:

  • If you decide to make or defend applications to amend claims, strike them out claims or to provide further information about them.
  • Claims involving multiple parties.
  • Dealing with a costs application.
  • If there is a large number of witnesses or evidence.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to a matter that are payable to third parties, such as expert fees or barristers fees. I do not hold a client account and so these would be payable by you directly to the third party.

Barristers’ fees vary enormously but are usually between £1,500 to £5,000 plus VAT per day.

Key Stages

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 and subject to change).
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
  • Preparing 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.
  • Reviewing and exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents.
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
  • Preparing bundle of documents.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
  • Conferences with counsel.
  • Drafting and agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.
  • The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will 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 on your individual needs.

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. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 2-4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 to 12 months. This is just an estimate and is heavily dependent on Employment Tribunal resources.

I will normally be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Complaints Procedure

I aim to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service I have provided then please inform me immediately, so that I can do my best to resolve the problem. Making a complaint will not affect how I handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can also help you if you are concerned about my behaviour (for example, if you feel that I have treated, or am treating you, unfairly because of your age, a disability or some other reason.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

What do to if I cannot resolve your complaint?

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if I am unable to resolve your complaint myself. They will look at your complaint independently and, again, it will not affect how I handle your case. Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with me first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint; and
  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them directly. Their details are:

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ