Employment claims - fee transparency

We work very hard to keep the costs of employment cases low as it is unusual for an Employment Tribunal to order one side to pay the other side’s costs meaning that it is particularly important to keep legal costs in check.

EMPLOYEES

• Are you a member of a Trade Union? If so, you should always approach the Union to ask if it will both prepare and present your case. Trade Union members are usually entitled to free support from their Union in employment cases.

• Do you have legal expenses insurance? Check your home contents and any other insurance policies you have. Seek immediate advice from your insurers if you believe you have cover. Jacobs & Reeves are happy to accept instructions in insurance-backed cases.

Employment Tribunal Claims

Most cases involve the following steps:

(i) Notification to ACAS (Advice Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

http://www.acas.org.uk

You do not need to instruct solicitors or to seek legal advice to take this first step. Simply contact ACAS and talk to them about the claim you intend to bring. They will notify your employer or former employer. In some cases, the employer will make an offer at this stage either because it accepts you should be compensated or simply as an attempt to dissuade you from pursuing your claim.

(ii) Completing the Tribunal Claim Form

We will give you initial advice on your claim and help you to complete the Claim Form for a fixed fee which will include an interview with the lawyer dealing with the case. Depending on the complexity of the case, the fee will be £120, £160, or £200 plus VAT.

(iii) Considering and responding to the Employer’s Defence or answer to the claim

Usually £100 plus VAT.

(iv) Case Management Steps

The Tribunal will usually order the parties to disclose copies of all documents they hold which are relevant to the dispute and will require the parties to prepare and exchange Witness Statements.

• Assistance with disclosure, to include advice on the Employer’s disclosure documents. Typical charge £150 to £180 plus VAT.
• Preparation of Witness Statements. We will give a time-based estimate or fixed price. Typically, £200 to £250 plus VAT for your own Witness Statement and £100 plus VAT for any supporting Witness Statements from other witnesses.
• Advising on the Employer’s Witness Statements. Time-based but typically £150 to £180 plus VAT.

(v) Preliminary Case Management Hearing

In some cases, especially discrimination cases, the Employment Tribunal will conduct a preliminary Case Management Hearing, often by telephone. Our costs will be time-based and agreed with you in advance if you instruct us to represent you at a hearing of this type. For a telephone hearing our fees would typically be between £150 to £200 plus VAT.

(vi) Representation at final hearing, to include final case preparation

Again, our fees will be time-based and will be agreed with you prior to instruction. Often it will be more economical or convenient to instruct a barrister in which case fees will be agreed in advance. For a one-day case, these costs will usually be in the region of £750 to £1,250 plus VAT.

(vii) Discrimination and Constructive Unfair Dismissal Cases

This type of case is often more complicated, not least because the final hearing often takes more than one day. We will draw up bespoke costs estimates or fixed fee quotations in cases of this type.

(viii) No Win No Fee

Conditional Fee arrangements and similar do not usually offer best value for Claimants in Employment Tribunal cases. We will, if requested, consider whether special terms can be offered and we will set out detailed costings for you to consider.

(ix) Payment Plans

We recognise that clients often struggle financially when they have been dismissed from their employment. Payment of fees by monthly instalments will be offered in most cases.

(x) Legal Support short of full representation

Our lawyers will always advise on this option. Clients can achieve substantial savings by only seeking our advice at the key stages in the case. We will explain how this could work for you once we have the full case details.

(xi) Typical fees for help throughout the case, beginning to end

  1. Unfair dismissal
    (not exceeding one full day in Tribunal) £1,700 to £2,500 plus VAT
  2. Constructive unfair dismissal £2,500 to £3,500 plus VAT
  3. Sex, race, disability, or other statutory
    Discrimination claims £3,500 to £5,500 plus VAT
  4. Legal support without full representation £500 to £1,500 plus VAT
  5. Other Tribunal claims
    Bespoke terms will be offered once we have the case details.

EMPLOYERS

Jacobs & Reeves accept instructions from employers for Employment Tribunal claims for unfair dismissal and statutory discrimination. We also advise on non-contentious employment issues such as contracts of employment, disciplinary grievance and HR procedures.

Employment Tribunal Claims

(i) Notification to ACAS (Advice Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

http://www.acas.org.uk

Very often the first indication that a claim is being made comes from ACAS. Claimants are required to notified ACAS before commencing Employment Tribunal proceedings. If instructed to give initial advice at this stage, our fees will be charged on the basis of the hourly rates given below. Typically, initial advice at this stage will be between £300 and £500 plus VAT.

(ii) Completing the Response to the Tribunal Claim Form

Again, this is time based. In a simple unfair dismissal case, completion of the response, to include taking all necessary instructions can cost as little as £200 to £250 plus VAT.

(iii) Case Management Steps

The Tribunal will usually order the parties to disclose copies of all documents they hold which are relevant to the dispute and will require the parties to prepare and exchange Witness Statements.

• Assistance with disclosure, to include advice on the Employee’s disclosure documents. Typical charge £150 to £180 plus VAT.
• Preparation of Witness Statements. We will give a time-based estimate or fixed price. Typically, £200 to £250 plus VAT for your own Witness Statement and £100 plus VAT for any supporting Witness Statements from other witnesses.
• Advising on the Employee’s Witness Statements. Time-based but typically £150 to £180 plus VAT.

(iv) Preliminary Case Management Hearing

In some cases, especially discrimination cases, the Employment Tribunal will conduct a preliminary Case Management Hearing, often by telephone. Our costs will be time-based and agreed with you in advance if you instruct us to represent you at a hearing of this type. For a telephone hearing our fees would typically be between £150 to £200 plus VAT.

(v) Representation at final hearing, to include final case preparation

Again, our fees will be time-based and will be agreed with you prior to instruction. Often it will be more economical or convenient to instruct a barrister in which case fees will be agreed in advance. For a one-day case, these costs will usually be in the region of £1,500 to £2,500 plus VAT.

(vi) Discrimination and Constructive Unfair Dismissal cases

This type of case is often more complicated, not least because the final hearing often takes more than one day. We will draw up bespoke costs estimates or fixed fee quotations in cases of this type.

(vii) No Win No Fee

Conditional Fee arrangements and similar do not usually offer best value for Respondents in Employment Tribunal cases. We will, if requested, consider whether special terms can be offered and we will set out detailed costings for you to consider.

(viii) Legal Support short of full representation

Our lawyers will always advise on this option. Clients can achieve substantial savings by only seeking our advice at the key stages in the case. We will explain how this could work for you once we have the full case details.

(ix) Typical fees for help throughout the case, beginning to end

  1. Unfair dismissal
    (not exceeding one full day in Tribunal) £3,000 to £4,000 plus VAT
  2. Constructive unfair dismissal £3,000 to £4,000 plus VAT
  3. Sex, race, disability, or other statutory
    Discrimination claims £7,000 to £11,000 plus VAT
  4. Legal support without full representation £500 to £3,000 plus VAT
  5. Other Tribunal claims
    Bespoke terms will be offered once we have the case details.

Our Employment Lawyers

Rod Dutton

Qualified as a solicitor in 1984. Law Graduate from Bristol University. Trained at a law firm in Cambridgeshire. Was then a solicitor and later a Partner in a central London practice specialising in personal injury and employment litigation for Trade Unions and their members. Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and an Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator.

Current hourly rate: £245 plus VAT.

Marcus Williams

Business degree at Winchester, Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice at the BBP Law School in Bournemouth. Qualified as a solicitor November 2018.

Current hourly rate: £215 plus VAT.