At Bhayani Law, we want to be transparent about charges when representing you to defend a tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal or discrimination.
These claims can be costly to defend, so understanding the stages involved, what you can do to minimise costs and how we can help at each stage is set out below.
You may have received a claim from an employee for one of the following:
- Unfair Dismissal
- Wrongful Dismissal
- Breach of contract
- Holiday pay
- Unlawful deduction of wages
- Protective award
- Redundancy payments
Prior to commencing work on your behalf, we shall inform you of any additional costs and ensure you fully understand how your legal fees are calculated before proceeding.
How we work
Many firms work on an hourly rate with open ended fees. We will try to fix fees where we can or give you estimates based on different stages of the claim. This will help you keep on top of the costs you will be paying.
Before you agree to pay our fees you should check any business insurance policies you have in place, as they may potentially cover the costs of defending employment tribunal claims:
- If you are a member of our Watertight fixed fee plan you may well have insurance in place to cover the cost of defending the claim and any compensation awarded to the employee.
- You may have office insurance or Directors insurance – speak to your insurer or broker if you are not sure to see whether this covered;
- Often if you have insurance it not only covers the costs but also any compensation awarded against you or settlement payments agreed;
- Your insurance only kicks in once you have written confirmation of indemnity so you will be responsible for all fees until this date.
- Some insurers will prefer you to use firms of solicitors selected from their panel. However, you have the right to choose your own representation and should not be pressured into instructing a solicitor simply because they are recommended by the insurer.
We can help by liaising with your insurer if you need us to, just provide us with the policy number and contact details.
Where possible we operate using fixed fees for each stage of the tribunal process.
All of the below costs may vary depending on the following:
- Volume and complexity of claims
- Volume of documents
- Number of witnesses
- Dealing with costs applications
- Dealing with applications to amend claims
- Dealing with strike out or deposit order applications
- Where the dismissal/treatment is potential discriminatory
- Making applications for interim relief
- Dealing with preliminary issues in more than one preliminary hearing
- Where you have started the claim/ defence yourself and we have to correct any mistakes or redraft any part of the pleadings
- Where the other party acts unreasonably and this increases our costs
The fixed fees apply to straightforward cases of wrongful or unfair dismissal only. If there is any additional and/or unexpected work (see above), we will ensure we have notified you of this and will agree a fixed fee with you.
Initial consultation: £260 – £700 plus VAT
This is essential to assess your position. We can do this over the telephone or in person or in writing. At this stage we will also need to review your documents, so it may take a few calls/ emails and meetings before we are able to provide you with an assessment of your prospects.
Once we have your documents, we can provide you with a fixed fee estimate prior to assessing the case.
In our initial letter of advice, we will provide bespoke fixed fees. The below is a guide to each stage of litigation and the likely cost of this.
ACAS Early Conciliation: £250-500 plus VAT
We will liaise with ACAS on your behalf. As soon as you receive correspondence from ACAS get in touch and we can take over for you to assess whether the case can settle without the need for further legal costs and advise you accordingly on any offer.
If the matter cannot be settled during this process a certificate will be issued to the Claimant and we then wait to see if they issue an ET1 (this is the claim form).
Counter Schedule of loss: £350 – £500 plus VAT
This is helpful to understand the best-case and worst-case scenario for the business, so that you are able to make an informed decision when making/ accepting an offer to settle a claim.
ET3 Response: £1,000 to £2,500 plus VAT
This is the start of the legal process and must be done in a prescribed manner. This is one of the most important documents in a case as it forms the basis of your defence.
Preliminary Hearing: £500 to £1,700 plus VAT
Preliminary hearings occur in most cases and can last between an hour to a day. Every preliminary hearing requires the parties to agree to a written agenda two days in advance.
They can also be to determine preliminary applications and issues in dispute, such as disability status, strike out applications or deposit orders.
When we know how long your hearing is listed for, and what issues are to be determined, we can provide a fixed fee before starting the preparatory work.
Disclosure: from £600 plus VAT
Both parties are required to disclose all documents in their control or possession which are relevant to the case, whether it helps your position or not.
The costs vary significantly depending on the volume of documents and the complexity of the case.
Once we have all of your documents, we can provide you with a fixed fee for this stage.
List of Issues: £500 plus VAT
This is a list of all of the issues in your case which are in dispute and are usually agreed prior to the final hearing. We suggest doing this before drafting the statements, so we can focus on the legal questions the tribunal have to address.
Witness statements: £750 – £2,500 plus VAT
Final hearing preparation: £300 – £600 plus VAT
It is not uncommon for there to be correspondence and last-minute items following exchange of witness statements.
Advocacy (barristers fees)
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as barrister’s fees. These can be anywhere between £1,000-£3,000 (plus VAT) per day for attending the final hearing, dependant on seniority.
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 any likely compensation your company may have to pay (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 the response to the employee’s claim;
- Reviewing and advising on the claim from the other party;
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
- Considering a schedule of loss and preparing a counter 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;
- 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 may not be required in every case.
Who will handle my matter?
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 2-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 4-9 months. 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.