Pricing for defending Tribunal claims - unfair or wrongful dismissal
Our pricing for defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal will depend on the nature and complexity of the case including the length and number of any hearings.
The hours needed to be spent on a case will vary depending on the individual case but the hours required will range from:
Simple case: 25 hours to 37.5 hours
Medium complexity case: 50 hours to 100 hours
High complexity case: 100 hours to 250 hours
Costs for defending Tribunal claims are charged on an hourly rate basis of £200 per hour (excluding VAT) for a solicitor with 20 years' experience. VAT is charged at 20%.
The likely total costs involved in defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal will range from:
Simple case: £5,000 - £7,500 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case - £10,000 - £20,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case - £20,000 - £50,000 (excluding VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex
- Poorly drafted claim requiring requests for further information
- Defending claims involving multiple claimants/ group actions
- Defending claims brought by litigants in person (i.e. no legal representation)
- Vexatious or highly aggrieved claimants
- Defending claims where the claimant requires reasonable adjustments to be made
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed) or defending strike out applications
- Not defending a claim from the the outset i.e. where the employer has acted without representation
- The number of witnesses and documents
- The need to instruct expert witnesses e.g. medical, financial or forensic experts
- If special rules apply to the unfair dismissal e.g. whistleblowing or TUPE dismissals or health & safety dismissals
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal hearing of £750 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1 - 10 days depending on the complexity of your case and the amount of evidence/ number of witnesses related to the case.
Disbursements & services not included
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees or experts fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process but we will usually require money on account to cover those costs before instructing the third party on your behalf.
Services not included relate to the following:
Advocacy at a final hearing or complex preliminary hearings - likely to be Counsel as an expert in advocacy to maximise prospects.
Counsel's fees estimated (as an average per day) between £750 to £3,500 (excluding VAT) per day (depending on experience of the advocate i.e. newly qualified barrister up to Queen's Counsel) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).
Expert evidence including medical reports/ notes or other expert reports e.g. an actuary for pension loss or recruitment expert for mitigation arguments or GP, consultant doctor or occupational health expert in disability discriminaton cases - all separate disbursements.
Costs will vary depending on the nature of the disbursement and the experience/qualifications/pricing policy of the doctor or expert and whether they are VAT registered or not (if so, VAT will increase the charge by 20%).
Broadly, a range of costs are likely to be in the region of:
GP's letter - from £75 to £150
Consultant psychiatrist's report - (£360 per hour) - 8 to 12 hours (the extent and complexity of the patient's medical history will be a key factor) from £2,880 to £4,320
Services included in the price & key stages of a matter
The fees set out above cover all the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the case papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change as the progresses)
- Entering into early conciliation where this is mandatory (or advisable) to explore whether a settlement can be reached
- Reviewing and advising on the claim issued by the claimant
- Preparing a formal response to the claim
- Exploring settlement and if appropriate, conducting settlement negotiations throughout the process
- Considering a schedule of loss from the claimant and drafting/serving a counter-schedule of loss where appropriate
- Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing unless complex where a barrister is instructed
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a hearing bundle of documents
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
- Preparing hearing bundle (& copies)
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
- Agreeing a list of isses, a chronology of events and/or cast list
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are an indication of the likely stages involved in a Tribunal case but if some of the stages above are not involved, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to deal with the claim yourself and only seek our advice on an "as required" basis in relation to some of the stages. This can be arranged depending on your needs and objectives.
How long will the case take?
The time it takes to defend a Tribunal claim from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of the case depends largely on the stage at which the case is resolved. If a settlement is reached before a claim is issued (e.g. during early conciliation), the case is likely to take 2 to 8 weeks. If the case proceeds to a Final Hearing, then it is likely to take 12 to 20 months depending on listing availability for the relevant Tribunal. This is just a broad estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matters progresses.
Experience & Qualifications - employment law - summary
- Qualified as a solicitor in 2000
- Full member of the Employment Lawyers Association since 2000
- Worked in private practice (regional law firms) and in-house in London (insurance sector)
- Set up Careys Law in 2014
- Head of employment law and supervisor at Careys Law (self-supervise)
- Represents both Respondents & Claimants in a broad range of employment matters