Losing your job is a stressful experience, but being unfairly dismissed can make the situation far worse. If you have been dismissed for an unfair reason or through an unfair process then you may have a case to bring an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim against your employer.
Employment Tribunal claims can vary hugely in complexity and duration, which makes it difficult to quote a fixed fee out the outset as this will depend on the full details of your case. Here we give a range of fees that you might expect, but after meeting you and discussing your case we will normally be able to give you a more accurate quote.
Employment Tribunal claims usually follow a similar pattern, but the length and cost of each stage varies depending on the complexity of the claim, the willingness of the other side to engage, the volume of documents to be reviewed, discussed and exchanged and the quality of the employer’s legal advisers. Many cases are settled by negotiation rather than going to Tribunal so they could end at any point without the need to pay for representation at the hearing.
If your claim is against a Government body (NHS, Police Force, Local Council etc) the costs involved may be much higher than our initial estimates as Government entities have many policies and procedures to review and follow and do not usually settle cases without going to Tribunal. We will of course endeavour to provide you with a more accurate quote once instructed
If a case does not settle, then our expert service will include all of the following stages:
- An initial meeting with one of our solicitors to discuss your circumstances and explain the Employment Tribunal claim process to you. Our free 30 minute consultation policy means that there is no charge if you would prefer to end the meeting during the first half hour.
- Initial information gathering to assess the prospects of your claim.
- An initial advice letter laying out the basis of your claim, the likely chances of success, how much you might be awarded and a more accurate estimate of our fees. If you have legal expenses insurance we will explain the process for claiming on this and at what point it will kick in to pay your legal fees.
- Writing to your employer to lay out your claim and dealing with their response.
- Going through the ACAS Early Conciliation process to see if your claim can be settled formally without issuing a formal Tribunal claim. If ACAS Early Conciliation enables the parties to agree a satisfactory settlement, our involvement will end at this stage.
- As most cases are settled by negotiation before the main hearing we will at all times be looking to negotiate a favourable outcome for you with your employer and their advisers rather than going to the Tribunal hearing. You will have access to some of the best negotiation skills available working on your behalf.
- Assuming Early Conciliation is unsuccessful, preparing and submitting your Tribunal claim form ET1.
- Reviewing your employer’s claim response form ET3 once it has been submitted.
- Gathering evidence and witness statements and preparing the trial bundle.
- Preparing for and attending any preliminary hearings either at court or by telephone.
- If you have legal expenses insurance, helping you arrange your cover, liaising with the insurance company about your claim and keeping them up to date regarding progress.
- Preparing for the final hearing which will either involve our representing you or instructing a barrister to do so including preparing a brief. We have not included barrister’s fees in our cost estimates – see the section on Other Costs below.
- Dealing with questions that arise during the hearing.
- If your case is settled by negotiation rather than at Tribunal, working with the other side to prepare a COT3 or settlement agreement to be signed by you and your employer.
- If your case is insurance funded, billing your insurance company directly and agreeing a fee with them so you don’t have to deal with them.
Some Employment Tribunal claims require specialist advice that we do not provide in-house. If this is the case then we will help you find an adviser with the right level of expertise and seek to agree a fee with them in advance. This would include:
- Specialist pension advice such as actuarial valuations, calculation of pension benefits, advice on pension transfers etc.
- Specialist tax advice such as dealing with HMRC investigations.
- Investment advice.
- Financial advice, such as the valuation of share options.
- Company valuations for the purposes of establishing the value of shares.
- Dealing with any appeal arising from the Tribunal decision.
During your Employment Tribunal case we will need to make some payments to 3rd parties on your behalf. These are commonly called disbursements and we will add them onto your bill without any mark up.
For Employment Tribunal cases, these costs could include:
Since 2017 there are no longer fees to issue claims or to hold hearings in the Employment Tribunals. These fees may be reintroduced at some point in the future at which point we will advise you accordingly.
We have outlined the key stages of a typical case above and here is a rough guide to the likely timescales involved:
- Initial meeting and engagement letter – 1 week.
- Opening correspondence with your employer and advice – 1 week.
- ACAS Early conciliation – start within 3 months of dismissal and the process takes 4-6 weeks.
- Issuing ET1 claim form – within 1 month of ACAS certificate being received after Early Conciliation finishes.
- Time from issuing ET1 claim form to Tribunal hearing – depends on the Tribunal workload. Typically 6-12 months but larger cases may take up to 2 years.
- Waiting for Tribunal Decision – for simpler cases decisions are made at the hearing. For more complex cases, depending on the Tribunal workload but typically 1-6 months.
Experience: Minal is a solicitor with over 20 years experience giving advice on employment law issues of all types. She has worked in practice and industry and assists both employees and employers solve their legal problems. Minal also advises on litigation and commercial matters for her clients.
Percentage of time spent on Employment law: 80%
Charge out rate (where applicable): £270/hour
Experience: Nathan has worked in employment law for 3 years advising both employees and employers. Nathan also advises on litigation and commercial matters for her clients.
Percentage of time spent on Employment law: 90%
Charge out rate (where applicable): £180/hour
Experience: Sarina has worked in employment law for 3 years advising both employees and employers. Sarina also advises on litigation and commercial matters for her clients.
Percentage of time spent on Employment law: 100%
Charge out rate (where applicable): £180/hour