Down to earth advice from a specialist lawyer when you need:
Straightforward advice in terms you’ll understand
Someone to fight your corner
A realistic assessment of your position
Value for money
‘Excellent service’ and ‘exceptional advice’ (Legal 500)
What is involved in a simple* tribunal claim?
|Key Stages in process||What is happening|
|Pre claim||Advice on potential claims. Early Conciliation Process via ACAS|
|Claim/Defence||Employee outlines nature of case they wish to bring in set formEmployer issues defence document articulating their defence in a set form
Either party can challenge the other over the level of detail they have provided
|Judge involvement||Telephone or face to face meetings with a Judge discussing the logistics of the case and ways to help the parties achieve a smooth running of it|
|Preliminary issues||A Judge may need to make rulings on issues such as whether someone is an employee and rule on applications either party can make in relation to how the case is being progressed|
|Disclosure||Listing and disclosing all relevant documents, the parties sharing these documents and discussing those that need to go into the Tribunal Bundle|
|Preparation of witness evidence||Preparing the evidence to be given by relevant people to the Tribunal and exchanging these with your opponent|
|Brief Counsel||Briefing the advocate who will represent you at Hearing|
|Hearing||When a judge will determine the issues in the case|
|Remedies Hearing||The judge may deal with what a winning person gets at a separate hearing to the one where who has won and lost is determined.|
|*broadly speaking cases can be categorised as follows:|
|Simple to Medium
Breach of contract
How long does this take?
The Tribunal system aims to deal with unfair dismissal cases within 26 weeks of the issue of the claim – our experience is this is usually longer and in complex cases like discrimination this can be up to 12 months from when a case is issued. Simple wages cases are likely to be dealt with in less than 6 months.
Anna Denton-Jones, an Oxford University graduate in law who qualified in 2000. She has dealt with thousands of cases including the most complex complaints. She spends approximately 30% of her time on tribunal work, the rest is trying to avoid people needing to get there. Her focus is on resolving cases as swiftly and sensibly as practicable to the benefit of her clients. She deploys technology to help deal with your case efficiently. Feedback on Anna is available in our blog.
Refreshing Law has been voted one of the top 200 legal practices in England & Wales by The Times.
What is it going to cost?
Our fees vary according to the issues in your case. Our charges are based on an hourly rate of £260 + VAT and so vary according to the work required in a given case. A full fee quote is available once we have advised on the merits of a case (such an assessment is likely to cost £500 – 850 + VAT). We are able to offer fixed fees tailored to your case once we understand what it is.
• Any travel within a 30 mile radius of our office
• Us attending hearings with you
This does NOT include the following additional charges :
• Photocopying papers – budget £30 for this – this is only charged if a Bundle is produced.
• Expenses instructing experts eg:- for medical advice – this will depend on the expert concerned
• Counsel fees (the advocate who will argue your case at the Hearing). This depends on the experience of the advocate chosen and will be between £850 and £3,000 per day plus VAT.
• Longer distance travel expenses
Illustrations of some average costs and timescales
a) An unfair dismissal case which will take two days in Tribunal because of the number of witnesses involved. It is worth just over a years’ salary. We quote her £20,000 plus VAT to fight the case all the way to a hearing. The case is issued in August, there is a mini-hearing for 2 hours before the Judge in December and the final hearing is scheduled for April. Following the mini-hearing the employer offers to settle the case for the equivalent of 6 months’ loss of earnings, loss of bonus and a redundancy payment. It has cost £6,000 plus VAT to get to that point.
b) An unfair dismissal and claim for notice pay claim which is listed for a one day hearing in Bristol. The case is worth £44,000. We issue the claim in January and quote £16,000 legal fees to fight the case to a full hearing which is listed in October (excluding Counsel fees of a further £1500 plus VAT). We settle the case for £25,000 in July after the employee spends £9,898 including VAT to reach that stage of the case.
c) A wrongful dismissal/breach of contract claim for £23,000 listed for a half-day hearing in London. We quote £7,800 plus VAT for our fees and it costs £900 plus VAT for the barrister. The case doesn’t settle but we are successful. You aren’t able to claim the costs incurred bringing the claim as each party normally bears their own costs in the Employment Tribunal.
d) An employee is offered £350 + VAT contribution towards legal fees for a settlement agreement. Our fees are likely to be at least £850 + VAT so we negotiate with the employer – we manage to increase the package being paid to the employee by an extra 3 months’ salary and pension contributions and the employer increases the legal fees contribution to £750 + VAT. By the time the agreement is signed off, our legal fees are £1000 + VAT due to the volume of emails sent back and forth to the employee’s HR department to get the agreement amended so the employee pays £250 + VAT and the employer pays £750 + VAT.
You will see from these illustrations that it depends on what stage of a claim that a case resolves as to what fees are incurred and how long this takes.
Things that can decrease costs:
• Organising all the documents relevant to your claim in date order
• Saving the documents if you are able as separate PDF files
• Taking staples out of documents if providing physical papers
• Providing a word document listing what all these documents are and the date of the document – we can provide you with a format to fill in
• Accepting sensible offers of settlement if they are received. We will advise you on this.
Things that will increase costs:
• Where it is necessary to amend claims/ provide further details on a claim or make/defend applications during the process (remember we can’t control what steps the opposition takes)
• Delays caused by the Employment Tribunal (eg:- postponing hearings) or the health of witnesses or dealing with the Covid 19 backlog of cases
• Where mini-hearings are needed before the final one to determine key points eg:- is there a disability?
• Where there is a high number of witnesses (more than 4)
• Excessive documentation (Bundles of more than 150 pages)
• Cases taking up more than one day of Tribunal time (more than 2 witnesses)
• Automatic unfair dismissal claims where the employee eg:- claims they are a whistleblower
• Discrimination claims: these are more complex
• Heavy use of email and text/phonecalls – we will contact you when there is something to be done and you need to remember you are charged each time you message us
Contracts were signed in the comfort of my own home and it was nice that no offices were needed.