We have advised employees on many claims and appreciate it can be a very stressful time.
We therefore ask you to focus on an overall objective which will not jeopardize your health and to involve your family or friends to help you during your case.
We can often settle a case before you have to file your claim at the Employment Tribunal.
This can be achieved by following our advice and:
- making settlement offers directly using Settlement Agreements to obtain an efficient settlement. Often your employer will want to do this – see our Article explaining why an employer may propose a Settlement Agreement;
- engaging with ACAS through the Early Conciliation process between you and your employer to achieve a settlement before it becomes a more costly Employment Tribunal dispute. Employees must register their ET claim at ACAS first to try Early Conciliation before the ET will process a claim ;
- using confidential and impartial Workplace Mediation with an independent mediator – see our Article for more reasons why Mediation can help you.We have settled over 2,000 cases between our team using these different tactics.It is very unlikely that even if you successfully win your claim that the ET Judge will order your employer to pay your costs. You will have to fund your costs during your case and we invoice monthly. This also means that it is best to explore settlement where possible.
- Ask you for your instructions and case details and documents,
- Review your case details and documents,
- Discuss any settlement amounts to be offered in your 1st settlement offer
- Review the draft settlement agreement which your employers or ACAS will produce, and
- Advise you throughout the settlement negotiations until the case is settled.
Settlement negotiations before an employee asks for ACAS Early Conciliation usually last between 2 and 4 weeks.
Negotiations via ACAS Early Conciliation usually last for 4 weeks but can be extended by a further 2 weeks to 6 weeks.
Price: : £950 to £1,750 plus VAT depending upon how your employer and/or its adviser engages and negotiates.
Sometimes it is not possible to settle a case in this way for a variety of reasons: for example an employer wants to test you to see how strong you think your case is and how determined you are to go through the ET process.
In these examples we have given you example Scope and Prices for:
- “Low Complexity” ET cases;
- “Medium Complexity” ET cases; and
- “High Complexity” ET cases.
Factors that could make a case more complex are:
- The type of employment law rights which you are alleging have been breached eg unpaid wages, unfair dismissal and/or discrimination.
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether you are 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 claim to have been dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer.
- Making or defending a costs application.
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
If the case proceeds to the ET by you filing a claim the case becomes more complex.
The Scope would then follow this process:
- Preparing your Claim Form.
- Taking your updated instructions, review of detailed documents and emails and advising you on their merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and will change as the case develops).
- Reviewing the Response or Defence on an ET form ET3 filed by your employer.
- Preparing for (and attending or instructing your Barrister to attend) a Preliminary Hearing which takes place usually within 3 months of the ET3 being filed.
- Review the Schedule of Loss which you are required to submit to the ET showing what losses you allege you have suffered.
- Taking your and other witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
- Exchanging documents with the lawyers for your employer and agreeing a bundle of documents required for the Judge at the Final Hearing.
- Reviewing and advising you on your employer’s witness statements.
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list with the lawyers representing your employer.
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout this whole process.
- Preparation and attendance at the Final Hearing (usually 2 – 10 days for more complex cases), including instructions to your Barrister who will represent you at the ET.
- Dealing with any after Final Hearing steps eg confirming payment arrangements to you of any ET award to you, filing and agreeing any settlement if it is reached part-way through the Final Hearing as often happens.
The stages set out above are an indication and always some of stages above are not required. For example if we can help you settle the case part-way through the above Key Stages then you will only incur the fees upto that point.
It will usually take between 9 and 15 months for your case to get to the Final Hearing.
We offer the following fee ranges as examples:
Low Complexity case
Eg claim for unpaid wages: £4,000 – £8,000 (plus VAT) plus fees for attendance at the Final Hearing and your Barrister fees.
Medium Complexity case
Eg claim for unfair dismissal based on lack of proper dismissal process: £8,000 – £12,500 (excluding VAT) (plus VAT) plus fees for attendance at the Final Hearing and your Barrister fees.
High Complexity case
e.g. an unfair dismissal and a discrimination claim: £8,750 – £20,500 plus fees for attendance at the Final Hearing and your Barrister fees.
We will help you select a Barrister (also called Counsel) for your case. Counsel’s fees are estimated between £2,000 to £4,000 plus VAT per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for advising on your case, attending a Preliminary Hearing and Tribunal Hearing (including preparation) as necessary and are also £195 to £295 plus VAT per hour. We will always seek your Barrister’s advice on your case proceeding through the ET.
There will be an additional fee for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £2,000 per day (excluding VAT) assuming a 7 hour day at the Tribunal. Generally, the ET will set a trial window between 2 and 10 days depending on the complexity of your case.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties eg travel costs or experts fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process but will need those disbursements paid in advance by you before we pay them for you.
At the start of your case we will remind you to explore your funding options. Eg via your home or bank account insurance policy or as a result of trade union membership.