Find our service and cost information for employers and employees via the drop down headings below:

LAWYERS IN DEPARTMENT

Name Status Hourly charging rate
Mark Higgins Partner, Head of Dept £275 plus VAT
Michael Dobson Assistant Solicitor £165 plus VAT
N/A Paralegals & Trainee Solicitors £110 plus VAT

CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT

Type Including restrictive covenants Price (excluding VAT)
Junior (non-executive) No £395
Junior (sensitive roles) Yes £595
Senior (managers and executives) Yes £750
Directors’ additional clauses Yes £250

STAFF HANDBOOK (EMPLOYEE MANUAL)

Essentials £495
Standard £750
Comprehensive £1,250

DEFENCE OF EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL CLAIMS

NB. Legal fees vary from case to case depending upon several factors, including complexity of claims brought, the amount of witness and other evidence required to defend your position, the number of issues in dispute and whether points of law are to be determined at a preliminary hearing in advance of the main trial. Below is an indication of ‘typical’ legal fees(excluding disbursements, such as barrister’s fees, experts reports etc) incurred and assumes that the matter proceeds to trial. Where possible, early settlement will avoid the majority of the legal costs illustrated below.

Unfair dismissal, breach of contract, unlawful deductions from wages £15,000 – £25,000 plus VAT
ASSUMING HEARING LASTS NO MORE THAN 5 DAYS
Unlawful discrimination (excluding equal pay claims)* £20,000 – £40,000 plus VAT
ASSUMING HEARING LASTS NO MORE THAN 5 DAYS

The estimates above assume a ‘normal’ timescale of 9-12 months.

*Equal pay claims can be extremely complex and protracted and is therefor not possible to provide any meaningful general estimates as to cost.

TYPICAL DISBURSEMENTS

Counsel’s fees:

Advice in conference (pre-trial) £750 – £1,000 plus VAT
Brief for hearing (prep and first day) £2,500 – £4,000 plus VAT
Supplementary daily refresher fee £500 – £850 plus VAT
Medical expert fees (disability cases)** £1,500 – £3,500 plus VAT

**NB. Psychiatrist report fees are considerably higher than fees charged by specialists in physical conditions, such as osteopaths etc.

NB. In England and Wales, the general rule is that each party bears its own costs, regardless of the outcome of the case. In many cases, it is simply not cost-effective to defend claims to trial as the value of any award of compensation is often lower than the costs incurred to defeat the underlying claim. From a strictly financial point of view, it always makes sense to explore early settlement – especially via the excellent ACAS Early Claims Scheme. However, from time to time, employer clients prefer to fight cases and there may be two reasons for this: (i) a point of principle – where the client is so incensed by the accusations made in the claim that they prefer to fight on, and (ii) concern to avoid ‘setting a precedent’ or gaining a reputation as an ‘easy push-over’. There is some truth in the notion that the more you tend to settle cases the more claims you invite. Thus, each claim should be analysed carefully to determine the stance to be taken.

EMPLOYER’S PURSUIT CLAIMS

Although much less common than claims brought by employees and workers against employers, it is sometimes necessary for an employer to pursue an employee or worker to enforce certain terms in the contract of employment. Such action will typically concern the enforcement of obligations of confidentiality and/or post-termination restrictive covenants. In most cases, the action will take the form of an application for injunctive relief (i.e. a court order compelling the ex-employee to refrain from certain acts, e.g contacting the employer’s customers or using confidential information) but will also include an underlying claim for breach of contract.

The action described above is pursued in the High Court – not an employment tribunal. Typical legal fees (excluding court fees and counsel’s fees) are set out below:

Application for an injunction £8,000 – £12,000 plus VAT
Breach of contract:
Damages sought:
£0 – £50,000 £7,500 – £15,000 plus VAT
£50,000 – £150,000 £10,000 – £25,000 plus VAT
£150,000 – £500,000 £25,000 – £75,000 plus VAT

NB. Unlike an employment tribunal claim, actions pursued in the High Court are usually subject to the rule that the winner is entitled to some of their costs to be paid by the losing party. However, some cases ‘fizzle out’ after an initial flurry of activity and so you must not assume that costs will be reimbursed except where there is a valuable claim for damages and the other party has the financial resources to satisfy an order for costs.

TUPE ADVICE

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MY BUSINESS AGAINST THESE COSTS?

Many of our business clients are now members of our ABC Scheme. Scheme members avoid many of the costs illustrated above. Click here to find out more.

SERVICES FOR EMPLOYEES/WORKERS

LAWYERS IN DEPARTMENT

Name Status Hourly charging rate
Mark Higgins Partner, Head of Dept £275 plus VAT
Michael Dobson Assistant Solicitor £165 plus VAT
N/A Paralegals & Trainee Solicitors £110 plus VAT

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS

Advising on terms and effect of proposed settlement agreement (i.e. what the deal is) £500 plus VAT
Advising on background claim (i.e. whether the deal is good, bad or indifferent) £275 – £550 plus VAT
Negotiation of higher settlement figure £275 – £550 plus VAT
Redrafting clauses/drafting references £275 – £550 plus VAT

REPRESENTATION IN CLAIMS

Unfair dismissal, breach of contract, unlawful deductions from wages £15,000 – £25,000 plus VAT
Unlawful discrimination (excluding equal pay claims)* £20,000 – £40,000 plus VAT

The estimates above assume a ‘normal’ timescale of 9-12 months.

*Equal pay claims can be extremely complex and protracted and is therefor not possible to provide any meaningful general estimates as to cost.

TYPICAL DISBURSEMENTS

Counsel’s fees:

Advice in conference (pre-trial) £750 – £1,000 plus VAT
Brief for hearing (prep and first day) £2,500 – £4,000 plus VAT
Supplementary daily refresher fee £500 – £850 plus VAT
Medical expert fees (disability cases)** £1,500 – £3,500 plus VAT

NB. In England and Wales, the general rule is that each party bears its own costs, regardless of the outcome of the case. In many cases, it is simply not cost-effective to pursue claims to trial as the value of any award of compensation will be lower than the legal costs incurred to get to trial. From a strictly financial point of view, it always makes sense to explore early settlement – especially via the excellent ACAS Early Claims Scheme. Two factors must be borne in mind: complexity of the matter and mitigation of loss (see below).

MITIGATION OF LOSS

All awards of compensation for financial losses in the employment tribunal are subject to the claimant’s duty to mitigate loss. This means that they must be able to prove that they have made sufficient efforts to secure suitable alternative employment. Any income earned in new employment is off-set against the losses claimed. Thus, where the employee succeeds in obtaining a new job on an equivalent or higher salary, the on-going loss is extinguished. Where the new job pays a lower salary, there may be an on-going claim for the difference between the old salary and the new but the overall value of the claim is reduced.

FUNDING OF ET CLAIMS

Legal aid is not available. Some law firms offer representation on the basis of a no win no fee agreement (called a ‘contingency fee agreement). This firm does not offer representation on such terms.

You may have Legal Expenses Insurance

PLEASE CHECK THE TERMS OF ANY INSURANCE POLICY IN YOUR NAME OR IN THE NAME OF ANYONE YOU RESIDE WITH. TYPICALLY, THIS WILL BE FOUND IN A HOME/CONTENTS OR BUILDINGS INSURANCE POLICY. YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE TO COVER A CLAIM IN THE EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU MAY HAVE LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE, PLEASE NOTIFY YOUR INSURER WITHOUT DELAY AS MANY APPLY TIME LIMITS FOR REPORTING CLAIMS TO THEM (TYPICALLY 120 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE ‘EVENT’ OCCURRING).