What will your case cost?
Our charges range from £175 per hour to £350 per hour (plus VAT), depending on the seniority of the solicitor dealing with your case. In some limited cases we can offer a fixed fee once we have reviewed your circumstances. This means that we will charge you a fixed amount, even if the work on your matter takes longer than anticipated, provided that there are no unforeseen complications or significant changes to your instructions.
All fees quoted are estimates and are dependant on the particular circumstances of your case.
We normally estimate for two to three hours to review your paperwork and have an initial consultation at which we can then give you some initial advice and an estimate of the likely costs for your entire case. This initial work will be charged at the solicitor’s hourly rate.
In some limited cases once we have reviewed your situation, we will be able to fix the costs of your case. This means that we will charge you a fixed fee for your case, even if the work on your application takes longer than anticipated, provided that there are no unforeseen complications or significant changes to your instructions. Cases where we may be able to offer a fixed fee include:
- Settlement Agreements;
- One-off advice on a particular employment matter;
- Grievance or appeal document drafting based on clear and concise instructions.
Given the nature of the work involved, it is unlikely that we will be able to offer a fixed fee for cases that are likely to proceed to a hearing at the Employment Tribunal or court.
The fixed fee will not include any disbursements, such as court fees or VAT, or Counsel’s fees.
If the matter is terminated before completion (for example if you are unable to provide documents requested or you withdraw your instructions) we will charge for the time already spent at our usual hourly rates. Any additional work required outside the scope of the fixed fee will be charged on an hourly basis unless otherwise agreed. If such work is required, we will inform you and provide an estimate.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
Value Added Tax (VAT) is required to be added to our fees and all disbursements. This applies if your usual place of residence is the UK. Details of the current rate of VAT which will be applied can be found HERE. If you are not resident in the UK, you are not liable to pay VAT.
You may be responsible for additional costs that are incurred by us on your behalf from another organisation. These are called ‘disbursements’. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, for example barrister or expert fees. We will let you know in advance of any costs being incurred.
Where your matter proceeds to an Employment Tribunal or Court, Counsel’s fees will also be incurred for preparation and attendance at the hearing. These depend on the experience of the advocate.
Travel costs may be incurred if we travel outside the office on your behalf to a Tribunal and/or Court, depending on whether you want us to also be in attendance with Counsel.
Paying for yourself
We take great care in assessing client needs and we will advise you from the outset, if possible, as to the likely cost of your matter. We will keep you informed of progress throughout your case and let you know immediately if we have to revise the estimate of costs that we have given you. We will bill you at regular intervals so that you can track the costs that are being incurred on your behalf and we have a number of options for making payment, including the use of credit cards.
Bindmans do not have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency to work on employment matters. We are therefore unable to offer legal aid to client’s in employment matters.
Legal Expenses Insurance
Many household and motor insurance policies include cover for legal costs. It may be worth checking the policy wording of your existing insurances before your first appointment to find out if this is an option in your case.
One option to pay for the costs associated with your case may be CrowdJustice (www.crowdjustice.com), the crowdfunding platform built for legal action. Crowdfunding allows you to raise money online from friends, family and other supporters of the issue at stake.
In our experience, it works best in three types of case. The first is where the costs are fairly low (for example, just for legal advice) and your, family, friends and local community are willing to make small contributions towards them. Most successful crowdfunded cases are of this type. The second type of case is where there is a much larger group of people who stand to benefit from the outcome of a case, who are in contact with each other and can organise and make larger contributions, or many contributions on a far larger scale. The third type of case are those with a very high public profile, such that the public in general will want to support it. In the second and third types of case, funds raised can be used to help you pay for some or all of your legal fees, costs associated with your case (like court fees and expert reports), and to help you cover some of the risk of paying the other side’s legal costs if you lose.
Funds raised on CrowdJustice get transferred directly to our client account on your behalf which means you do not handle the administration of payments or deal with the compliance involved in holding funds. It also means that you can tell everyone donating to your case that funds are going directly to the lawyers’ client account rather than to you.
For businesses and other organisations, we can offer a raft of flexible funding arrangements in additon to our hourly rates, tailored to your needs. These range from fixed fees, to menu pricing, to banded fee arrangements.
Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal claims
It is very difficult to estimate the total costs for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal as this can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case. In our experience the total cost for these claims range upwards of £15,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements).
Following an initial consultation and review of any paperwork that you have relating to your case, our solicitors will be able to provide you with a detailed estimate of how much your particular case is likely to cost.
Factors that could make a case more complex and therefore do not fall within the price band above:
- 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 for example 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;
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal;
- A stand-alone discrimination claim such as harassment/victimisation
For the more complex cases that have the above factors, we will provide a separate fee quote.
There will also be an additional charge if the solicitor is required to attend a Tribunal Hearing. This will be charged at the solicitor’s hourly rate (plus VAT) unless otherwise agreed.
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 will be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change);
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation as this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
- Preparing claim or response;
- Reviewing and advising on a claim or response from another 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; and
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are merely an indication. Some of stages above may not be required depending on your circumstances and there may be additional stages which are unique to your own circumstances.
You may wish to handle aspects of the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged depending 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 particular details of your case and the stage at which your case is resolved. There are some matters outside of our control which may impact the time that your case takes to be resolved, such as how long it takes for your case to be listed by the court or Tribunal.
Where it proceeds to a full hearing at the Employment Tribunal, it is estimated that an unfair or wrongful dismissal case will cost at least £15,000 (excluding VAT & disbursements) to reach resolution. However, 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.
Who will be dealing with my case?
Our team has over 25 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to employment and professional discipline matters.
We have a team of solicitors as well as trainee solicitors and/or paralegals who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Krishna Santra, Partner in our Employment Law team at Bindmans.
You can find our more information about our team by viewing their profiles here.