Transparency: Employment Tribunals (Unfair/Wrongful Dismissal)
Services and Pricing
At Smith Partnership, we work with organisations of all sizes, delivering a fully comprehensive employment law service to both employees and employers.
Through our expert advice, legal know-how and friendly approach, we are able to build relationships with our clients, tailoring our service to meet their needs and helping them navigate the sometimes complex world of employment law.
The team offer a wide range of services including the bespoke drafting of contracts and handbooks, employment tribunal representation and consultancy services. Our clients also have the option of accessing our HR document support service; a comprehensive bank of employment documents.
Our services include advising on:
- Essential employment law/HR documentation
- Employee management
- Disciplinary and grievance
- Redundancy and restructuring
- Settlement agreements
- Discrimination/equal opportunities
- Confidentiality and restrictive covenants preparation and enforcement
- Employment tribunal representation
Our cost-effective approach ensures that our expert team of legal professionals are on hand to support clients through all aspects of employment law. Our pricing structure is based on hourly rates, although we are often able to provide fixed fees for certain services upon request. Our current hourly rates are:
- James Johnson, Partner & Head of Employment: £235 excluding VAT per hour
Example price ranges
Preparation of Employment Tribunal Claims for Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal Claims
Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal (excluding hearing costs) is set out below:
- Simple case: £2,500-£5,000 (excluding VAT)
- Medium complexity case: £5,000-£10,000 (excluding VAT)
- High complexity case: £10,000-£25,000 (excluding VAT)
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 or are defending such a claim.
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
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.
Depending on the experience of the advocate, counsel's fees (also known as barrister’s fees) are estimated between £1500 to £2500 excluding VAT per day for attending a tribunal hearing (including counsel’s preparation for the hearing itself).
You would not normally have both a solicitor and counsel present at a hearing in the employment tribunal, and would not therefore pay both our fees and counsel’s fees for the actual hearing itself. We instruct counsel in most cases we conduct, and therefore the charged will be our preparation costs and counsel’s fees.
Therefore, a simple unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim listed for a one day hearing will normally cost between £2,500 and £4,000 excluding VAT for our preparation costs, and between £1,500 and £2,500 excluding VAT for counsel’s attendance at the hearing.
There will be an additional charge for attending a tribunal hearing of between £1,000-£1,500 per day (excluding VAT).
It is difficult to estimate how long a case will take to be heard and we will try to guide each case individually. Generally, we would allow 1-2 days for an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim, and 3-10 days for a discrimination-related dismissal claim, depending on the complexity of your case.
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 is 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 the 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, and obtaining instructions on the contents.
- 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. If some of these stages 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 to suit your individual needs.
How long will it take?
The time that it takes from receiving 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 2-4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 26-52 weeks. This is just an estimate – we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
When you choose Smith Partnership, you’ll receive top legal advice and a first-class service. All of our staff have extensive experience in their respective fields, and we pride ourselves on our open and practical approach. Our Employment team consists of: