Down to earth advice from a specialist lawyer when you need:
Employment law expertise
Pragmatic advice on managing any staffing situation
A realistic assessment of your position
Someone to fight your corner
Extra HR Support
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 £250 + 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 including reviewing all paperwork (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 timescale
a) A building company has a one day case against them for unfair dismissal in a case where the employee is legally represented. The value of the claim is £79,000. We quote £19,000 plus VAT to defend the case and the barrister will cost £2,500 plus VAT. The claim is issued in November in one year and due to go to a hearing the following March but there is a delay because of witness availability so it is moved until June. We settle the case in May when the employer has spent £11,780 plus VAT.
b) A charity has a two day case for unfair dismissal where they have three witnesses. The value of the claim is a year’s salary plus £4810. The case is brought in March but the Hearing is due in September. We quote them £23,000 plus VAT for the case and the barrister was going to cost £6,000 plus VAT. The case is settled for £12,000 in July 2018 when they have spent £16,565 plus VAT.
c) A partnership has a case for whistleblowing unfair dismissal in a London Tribunal where the Claimant is claiming £150,000. The case starts in January and is listed for October the next year. It costs the employer £25,000 plus VAT to reach a four day hearing and they spend a further £9,000 plus VAT on barrister’s fees. They win. They cannot claim the costs incurred bringing the claim as each party normally bears their own costs in the Employment Tribunal.
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 each document as a separate PDF file
• Taking staples out of documents
• 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
• Part-preparation of witness statements yourselves
• Accepting sensible offers of settlement if they are received. We will advise you on this.
Things that will increase costs:
• Defending cases brought by litigants in person
• 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 as a result of the Covid 19 backlog
• 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
David Matthews, Sector MD international service group.
We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Anna and Refreshing Law to anyone looking for employment related advice.
Alison Lewis, Orangebox