The Employment Team at GS Verde Law act for employers defending against claims brought against them by employees at the Employment Tribunal.
The cost of providing a legal defence will vary widely depending on the nature of the claim, such as discrimination claims which can drastically increase the cost of the defence.
Our fees in defending an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim without any issues relating to discrimination, bullying, harassment etc. are likely to cost between £3,000 and £12,000 + 20% VAT depending on various factors. We will always endeavour to give you an estimate of the cost of defending a claim against your business at the outset, an estimate of any anticipated disbursements, and any additional charges so that you are fully appraised of the potential cost of defending a claim at the outset.
Our fees can be based on an hourly rate or fixed fee basis to suit the client. Our hourly rates range from £100 + 20% VAT per hour to £245 + 20% VAT per hour.
Factors affecting the cost of our fees include:
- Complexity of the issues
- The amount of documentation provided from both parties to review and advise upon
- How many allegations are raised in respect of the claim/s
- How many hearings are listed such as a Preliminary Hearing, Pre-Hearing Review and Full Merits Hearing
- How many days the Full Merits Hearing is listed for
- Preliminary issues such as employee status
- Multiple Claimants
- How many witnesses are needed to be called
- Whether a conference is necessary
- Status of the Claimant
- Whether an appeal is issued to the Employment Appeal Tribunal
The key stages of an employment claim are as follows;
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 4-12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 25-52 weeks. 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.
Disbursements and Additional costs
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Court fees or fees payable to experts. The cost above from GS Verde Law does not include any of these fees. Barristers fees will be a big consideration when looking at the cost of defending a claim and typically range from £1500 to £8000 +20% VAT where applicable for attendance at the final hearing for straightforward wrongful dismissal claims. If an expert report is required the cost can range from £500-£2000 +20% VAT where applicable for each report, if the expert is required to attend the final hearing they will normally charge a daily rate ranging from £350 to £1250 +20% VAT where applicable.
At present there are no Tribunal fees for pursing a claim in the Employment Tribunal however this is under review and maybe subject to change.
Employers may be covered for defence of employment claims under business insurance policies. All employers should contact their insurers to ask whether they benefit from this assistance before instructing any solicitors / other legal counsel.