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How long does a claim usually take?

 

The time that it takes from taking 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 - 5 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 - 8 months from when the claim is issued to the final tribunal hearing. 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.

 

Employee claims

 

We are regularly instructed by employees who wish to bring a claim against their employer in the employment tribunal.

 

We have a number of fee earners that can assist who charge on an hourly rate. The hourly rate varies depending on the fee earner who is assisting. The hourly rate can vary between £175.00 - £250.00 excluding VAT. Typically we assign complex claims to more senior members of the team (e.g. solicitors with over 5 years post-qualification experience).

 

Employment law claims usually involve specific steps that need to be taken and the majority of the work is usually done at the start when we take a new client’s instructions and put together their claim. There are strict rules when it comes to bringing a claim in an employment tribunal and strict time limits apply. We often have to do a lot of work in a short amount of time at the start of the matter and this can take between 3 – 5 hours depending on the complexity of the case. The time spent includes the time spent in taking instructions from a new client, preparing the claim form (known as the ET1) and preparing the claim document outlining, in detail, the nature of the dispute.

 

Cases in the employment tribunal can settle at any stage through the employer and the employee negotiating terms of settlement and we advise our clients on the benefit of settling depending on their prospects of success. Settlement negotiations typically take between 2 – 3 hours of time but can take longer depending on the complexity of the case.

We instruct barristers to attend tribunals on behalf of our clients as tribunals typically sit all around the country. Barristers typically charge a fixed fee for attendance and the fee varies depending on the location of the tribunal and the complexity of the case.

 

 

Our typical charges for bringing a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal are:

 

Simple case: £2,000.00 - £4,000.00 (excluding VAT)

 

Medium complexity case: £4,000.00 - £8,000.00 (excluding VAT)

 

High complexity case: £8,000 - £15,000.00 (excluding VAT)

 

Factors that can make a case more complex include:

 

  • If it is necessary to make or defend application 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 (for example in relation to a health and safety related issue)

  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

 

We generally instruct barristers to attend the tribunal hearing on behalf of clients. The costs of barristers depend on the seniority of the barrister and the location of the tribunal (i.e. the costs of instructing a barrister to attend a tribunal in central London are generally greater than outside of London). The costs of a barrister attending a tribunal can vary from £2,000.00 (exc VAT) to £10,000.00 (exc VAT) per day depending on the seniority of the barrister and the location of the tribunal. If our attendance is requested at the tribunal we would charge on the hourly rate and this would typically be 5 – 7 hours for a full day in the tribunal.

 

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.

 

There may be funding options available, such as cover policy under an insurance policy, and we can assist you in relation to securing this funding. Depending on the nature of a client’s case, we can carry out work prior to a client receiving insurance cover for their claim and in these cases we charge on a privately paying basis and then move to insurance funded work.

 

Defending employment tribunal claims

 

When we are instructed by employers to respond to a claim that has been issued against them in an employment tribunal the Response is the most important document.

 

We have a number of fee earners that can assist who charge on an hourly rate. The hourly rate varies depending on the fee earner who is assisting. The hourly rate can vary between £175.00 - £250.00 excluding VAT. Typically we assign complex claims to more senior members of the team (e.g. solicitors with over 5 years post-qualification experience).

There are usually more witnesses involved when we are instructed to defend an employment tribunal claim on behalf of an employer. The employer is likely to want to call witnesses that will have valuable evidence in relation to the claim which can lead to an increase in costs.

 

Our typical charges are outlined below:

 

Simple case: £3,000.00 - £6,000.00 (excluding VAT)

 

Medium complexity case: £6,000.00 - £10,000.00 (excluding VAT)

 

High complexity case: £10,000 - £20,000.00 (excluding VAT)

 

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 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 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

  • 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 and if some of stages above 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 on your individual needs.