Employment Law Fees

Fee information in Employment cases

We act for claimants and understand the importance of transparency and certainty around the costs of Employment Tribunal litigation.

At John M Lewis & Co we will advise you of your options to minimise your legal costs. This can include negotiating a settlement, limiting the scope of your claim, or advising and supporting you with self-representation. Where litigation is unavoidable and you want full representation, the overall costs of your claim will depend on the funding option selected and the complexity of your case.

Funding Options

We have a range of funding options:

  • Legal expenses insurance cover
  • No win, no fee agreements
  • Fixed fees
  • Private Client – payment on an hourly rate

Legal Expenses Insurance

If you own a house or a car you may also benefit from legal expenses cover for an employment dispute as part of your buildings and contents or car insurance. This will be your best option if you have it so do check your policy documents.

You have the right to use any solicitor you wish. If your insurer tries to compel you to use a solicitor from their panel, we are happy to remind them of your right to instruct a solicitor of your choosing.

If you choose us, we will help you apply to the insurer to cover legal costs at the start. As soon as we sign the insurance agreement with your insurers, funding will be in place subject to the terms of your LEI policy.

If you believe you have the benefit of a legal expenses insurance policy, please contact us now so that your claim can be dealt with as soon as possible.

No win, no fee agreements

Where you find it difficult to pay legal fees up-front, we are willing to consider assisting you under a ‘no win, no fee’ Damages Based Agreement. This type of agreement enables you to pursue an employment tribunal claim without having to pay solicitors fees in advance, or at all if you lose, so there is minimal financial risk.

If you do win at tribunal, or we negotiate a settlement of your claim, we will recover our fees from your compensation to a maximum of 35% inclusive of VAT.

Other fees that may be payable are referred to as ‘disbursements’. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as barristers’ fees for representation at hearings.

We would discuss any likely disbursements with you prior to you signing the agreement.

Fixed Fees

We may be able to undertake work for you on a fixed fee basis where we can agree the scope of the work required. Sometimes we can fix our fees for specific stages of an employment tribunal claim.

Every fixed fee is agreed and paid in advance and the amount will depend on the complexity of your case and the type of work required. We are unable to offer a fixed fee in all cases, however an indication of what work we can undertake for an agreed fixed fee in certain cases is below. The level of the fee in each band depends on the complexity of the case but we provide a firm quote in fixed fee scenarios.

Claims Assessment – £350 to £750 plus 20% VAT

An assessment includes:

  • An hour’s discussion of your case with an employment expert;
  • A review of relevant documents for up to one hour;
  • A detailed letter of advice on the merits and prospects of your case.

ACAS Early Conciliation Representation – £350 to £1000 plus 20% VAT

Conciliation representation includes:

  • An hour’s discussion about your case and your desired outcome;
  • Drafting the ACAS Early Conciliation Notification forms relevant to your case;
  • Negotiating with ACAS and the Respondent’s representatives to try and achieve settlement;
  • Advising you in relation to settlement wording and executing COT3 settlement documents.

While settlement is not guaranteed it should be noted that legally represented claimants often achieve better outcomes.

Issuing Employment Tribunal Claim – £500 to £1500 plus 20% VAT

Issuing the claim includes:

  • Our employment experts will draft and submit your ET1 Claim form;
  • We will review the ET3 defence form, once this has been received;

A full discussion of the ET3 defence form and advice on the next steps.

Employment Tribunal Preparation

  • Preparing a schedule of losses – £250 to £750 plus 20% VAT
  • Dealing with disclosure and discovery of documents and agreeing a hearing bundle – £250 to £1000 plus 20% VAT
  • Drafting your witness statement – £500 to £1500 plus 20% VAT
  • Settlement during proceedings – £500 to £1000 plus 20% VAT

Employment Tribunal Preparation and Representation

  • Preliminary Hearing – Case Management Discussion (includes completing Agenda) – £450 to £750 plus 20% VAT
  • Preliminary Hearing – substantive/legal issue (including a hearing on jurisdiction, disability status etc.) – £1000 to £1750 plus 20% VAT
  • Judicial Mediation – £750 to £1250 plus 20% VAT
  • Final Hearing Preparation – £1000 to £1500 plus 20% VAT and disbursements*

Private client – payment on an hourly rate

The costs of litigation do vary depending on factors such as: the complexity of your case, whether several claim types are being pursued, the number of documents and witnesses, the value of your claim, having to make or defend applications to the tribunal, the number of hearings, and the number of respondents being pursued. While the costs tend to increase along with the complexity of a claim, so does the claim’s value.

We offer a competitive hourly rate of between £189 to £272 plus VAT depending upon the seniority of your lawyer and our average costs to fully prepare your case up to a final hearing are set out in the following table.

Case Complexity Examples Average Costs
Simple Unpaid wages, holiday pay and breach of contract claims, or straightforward unfair dismissal £2,000 to £6,500 plus 20% VAT and disbursements*
Medium Complexity Moderately complicated unfair dismissal, straightforward discrimination and whistleblowing claims, or several claims or respondents pursued £6,500 to £12,500 plus 20% VAT and disbursements*
Highly Complex Complicated unfair dismissal with whistleblowing and/or multiple complex discrimination claims occurring over a lengthy time period, and/or several respondents pursued £12,500 to £25,000 plus 20% VAT and disbursements*

Disbursements – Final Hearing Costs

As above, other fees that may be payable are referred to as ‘disbursements’. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as barristers’ fees for representation at hearings.

*Disbursements including a barrister attending a hearing in a simple to complex case can range on average from £600 to £10,000 plus 20% VAT or more depending on the length of the hearing and the experience of the barrister. Barrister’s fees in highly complex cases can exceed £15,000 to £25,000 plus 20% VAT depending on the length of the hearing. While it is by no means guaranteed, many tribunal cases do settle without any need for a final hearing.

Whatever the complexity of your case you can help to reduce your legal costs by, for example:

  • placing your documents in chronological order and removing duplicates,
  • providing a clear chronology or summary of your case,
  • allowing us to provide you with succinct updates or inform you when action needs taking,
  • providing information to us simply and promptly.

How long will my matter take?

Once your employment claim is lodged, the Tribunal will send a copy of your claim form to your employer who will have 28 days in which to respond.

If you have a complex discrimination or whistleblowing claim, your case will also be listed for an administrative Preliminary Hearing within 3 to 6 months, depending on the workload of the relevant Tribunal. In some claims, such as disability discrimination, there may be an additional Preliminary Hearing during which a Judge will determine whether you are disabled under the Equality Act 2010.

Unfair dismissal claims are not generally listed for Preliminary Hearing and tend to take around 12 to 18 months to reach final hearing. More complex claims, such as discrimination or whistleblowing claims, can take 18 months to two years to reach final hearing.

Many claims settle during the employment tribunal process, and generally within 6 to 12 months of proceedings being issued depending on the strength and value of the claim.

Please Note: VAT is chargeable at 20%.

Trade Union Members

If you are a member of a trade union, we ask that you contact your union for advice, assistance and representation in the first instance. Your union will support you in any internal disciplinary or grievance meetings. If you have a legal claim, your union will transfer your case to its panel solicitors for full representation. This is usually provided at no cost to you under the terms of your trade union membership.

Secure Your Future Today

For expert employment law advice and support in Derby, contact John M Lewis & Co today. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome for your employment-related matters. Don’t let employment issues disrupt your life or business – let us guide you through the complexities of employment law with confidence.

Contact us now to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards resolving your employment matters.

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