Employment Law Fees
All employment law advice is provided by Richard Brown, a senior consultant solicitor with over 30 years’ experience of employment law. We aim to respond to all enquiries the same day and will generally be able to provide initial advice within 48 hours or sooner if the matter is urgent.
The hourly rate for general employment law advice is £250 plus VAT. Firm estimates will be given for each piece of work and prior client approval for any further costs will be obtained if additional work is required.
We set out below the likely cost of the more common areas of employment law advice (all prices are plus VAT):-
It is normal for the employer to make a contribution towards some or all of the employee’s legal costs relating to the settlement agreement. Any contribution received from the employer will be deducted from the cost estimates given below. Where our estimate exceeds the proposed contribution the employee can either agree to pay the shortfall themselves, or seek to negotiate a higher contribution from the employer. If the agreement is not finalised, or the employer does not pay the agreed contribution, then the employee remains liable for the full amount of the costs.
Work limited to
|Explanation of agreement, highlighting areas of concern||£350 – £750 – depending on complexity of agreement*|
|Seeking to negotiate alternative wording where appropriate||£250 – £500 – depending on number of clauses to be redrafted*|
|Initial advice on the merits of potential claims covered by settlement agreement||£500 – £750 – depending on complexity of case*|
|Seeking to negotiate an improved settlement||£500 – £750 – depending on stance taken by employer*|
|Advising on aspects of original employment contract||£250 – £500 – depending on complexity of contract*|
|Advising on unusual terms within the settlement agreement, e.g. restrictive covenants.||£250 – £500 – depending on complexity of terms*|
Please note that all estimated costs will be charged plus VAT at the current rate.
Employment law claims
(e.g. unfair / wrongful dismissal, discrimination, redundancy, maternity rights etc)
It will normally cost between £500 and £1,000 to provide initial advice on bringing or defending employment law claims. It is only after considering the matter in some detail that we will be able to estimate the full costs of taking a case to a final hearing, but typical overall costs can range from £10,000 to £15,000, which includes the costs of instructing a barrister.
It can take from six months to a year, or even longer, for an employment tribunal case to reach a final hearing. The case will typically involve the drafting of the claim itself, or the response to a claim (as appropriate), the collation and disclosure of all relevant documents, the preparation of witness statements and the final hearing. There are likely to be a number of procedural hearings throughout the case, some of which may be conducted by telephone.
Costs will be incurred throughout the case. We will give estimates for each element mentioned above, but the rate of costs incurred tends to increase as the case approaches the final hearing.
Please note that in the Employment Tribunal it is not normally possible to recover your legal fees even if you win.
To give you an idea, our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal.
Simple case: £4,000-£10,000 (excluding VAT, charged at 20%)
Medium complexity case: £8,000-£14,000 (excluding VAT, charged at 20%)
High complexity case: £10,000-£25,000 (excluding VAT, charged at 20%)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
- Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
- The number of witnesses and documents
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £1500 per day (excluding VAT, charged at 20%). The length of any Tribunal Hearing will depend on the Tribunal’s scheduling and the complexity of your case. We shall discuss this with you in advance and advise you throughout the case.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Counsel's fees estimated between £750 to £1,500 per day excluding VAT, charged at 20% (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
- Preparing claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
- Exploring settlement and negotiating 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 bundle of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
- agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 6-12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6-12 month. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
Contracts of employment and other employment documents
It will normally cost between £250 to £750 to advise on a contract of employment, depending on its complexity. Drafting contracts of employment will typically cost £750 – £1,000. Policies, procedures and office manuals will generally cost £250 – £500 each.
Transfers of businesses – TUPE advice
Whenever a business is bought or sold the buyer and the seller are each subject to strict rules and regulations regarding their employees. It will generally cost between £500 and £1,000 to provide advice on a party’s obligations under TUPE. If it is necessary to draft TUPE notices or advise on Employee Liability Information this will typically cost a further £250 – £500.
Transfers of businesses – due diligence & employment law contractual provisions
A proper understanding of existing employment law obligations towards the staff is essential whenever a business is bought or sold, as is the use of relevant contractual provisions. Each of these elements will typically cost between £500 and £750.
Disciplinary matters, redundancy and other dismissals
From an employer’s perspective it is essential that a proper procedure is followed in order to avoid the possibility of a successful unfair dismissal claim. Guidance on the correct procedure and drafting the appropriate documentation will generally cost between £750 and £1,250.
It will normally cost between £350 and £600 for an employee to receive advice on whether their employer has adopted the correct procedure, according to the circumstances of their case.
This is a complicated and specialist area of employment law. Providing advice to either employers or employees as to the enforceability of restrictive covenants will typically cost in the region of £750. Drafting appropriate covenants will generally cost a similar amount.
Employment law covers many aspects of the employer / employee relationship and the areas mentioned above are just some of the issues we can help with. We will always ensure that our advice is both pragmatic and commercial and is given in a clear and concise way.
We understand the importance of knowing the likely costs in advance and will therefore be happy to give a firm estimate for any piece of work once we have spoken to a client and seen the relevant documents.
The figures given are based on our normal charges for employment law advice as at August 2021. We reserve the right to amend these figures on not less than one month’s notice.