Although our Proactive scheme serves to reduce the risk of Tribunal claims, we accept that in the litigious world in which we live, the threat of claims is commonplace.
Tribunal claims are on the rise again now that the fee system has been abolished. The mandatory ACAS early conciliation process continues to assist but there are still many cases reaching proceedings stage.
We will provide you with support both before, during and after the tribunal process. We have experience representing clients in all types of proceedings and undertake the advocacy ourselves wherever possible. We appreciate that the litigation process can be daunting and therefore we work with you to ensure that your case is presented in the best way.
We’ll also guide you as to what we consider to be the best outcome for you taking you and the needs of your business in to account.
Bringing or defending Tribunal claims can be a costly process and we always recommend our clients check whether they have an insurance policy to cover the litigation costs. In the event that there is no insurance in place, we will normally charge based on the time spent on any aspect of work (charged at our hourly rates) but will agree fixed fees wherever possible.
Fee quotes will vary depending on the complexity of your case and what specifically you would like us to do. If you would like a quote tailored to your circumstances please get in touch, we are more than happy to discuss your case with you.
Our charges are made up of:
- a) our fees for the legal work;
- b) ‘disbursements’ – disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to other people, such as fees for a barrister’s opinion or help at Court. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Where VAT is referred to below please note that this will be charged at the applicable rate, which is currently 20%.
Our fees may be agreed with you as a fixed sum at the start of your case or will accrue on a time spent basis depending on the time it takes us to handle your case. If it is necessary to charge on a time spent basis, we will give you an estimate of the time we think will be needed for the work being undertaken. Our hourly rate for one of our associates is £250 plus VAT.
The amount of drafting required in each case depends on the claim(s) being presented, guidance in relation to fees for Tribunal assistance and representation is detailed below:
- – A simple case: £8,000 plus VAT
- – A medium complexity case: £10,000-£12,000 plus VAT.
- – A high complexity case: £15,000-£20,000 plus VAT.
Some clients may wish to attempt to handle some parts of a very straight-forward matter themselves and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. We find that some clients are comfortable compiling bundles and drafting witness statements themselves, this can reduce the cost if your case is one where we’re comfortable that this is a sensible approach to take. We therefore also offer fixed fees in relation to some aspects of bringing or defending a claim, we have outlined these aspects and an estimate of fees below:
- – Preparation of an ET1 or ET3 £550 plus vat (up to £750 plus vat if discrimination or whistleblowing complaints are included);
- – Attendance at hearing £1000-£1500 plus vat per day;
- – Completion of preliminary hearing agenda £250-£400 plus vat.
Quotes will always be provided and agreed before any work is undertaken.
Key stages of your claim
The examples of typical costs above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a Tribunal claim:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on your prospects of success in the claim and the likely compensation, although this is likely to be revisited throughout the case and subject to change.
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation with ACAS to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
- Preparing your claim or response.
- Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the other party.
- Exploring settlement and negotiating a settlement throughout the process.
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
- Preparing for and attending a Preliminary Hearing.
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents.
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
- Preparing bundles of documents for the final hearing.
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
- Preparation and instructions to the barrister (if this is not being done in-house by us) for the final hearing.
It would not normally be necessary to undertake other work or incur other costs other than those described above. However, we would be very happy to provide you with a more tailored quote for all stages of your particular case once we know about your specific circumstances.
How long will my case take?
The time it takes from your initial instructions to the end of your case depends largely on the stage at which it is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim discussions, your case is likely to take 3-4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 25-36 weeks. This is just an illustration and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information from you and as the case progresses.
Who will be dealing with my case?
Natalie Thomson heads our Employment Department and conducts or supervises all of our employment work. Natalie qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and has over 10 years of experience advising companies and senior executives. You can find out more about our team of lawyers in the about us section of our website.
If you have any further questions about the support that we can offer or the fees that would be incurred, please contact us.
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