Employment Law

Services for businesses and individuals

At Hodge Halsall we have over 30 years’ experience of conducting employment claims for both businesses and individuals.  We also advise on Settlement Agreements and prepare a range of employment related policies and procedures.

Our range of costs options include: 

Free telephone discussion

If you have had an Employment Tribunal claim brought against you or are contemplating bringing such a claim, please call us on 01704 531991 for a no obligation, free of charge discussion (to last around 15-20 minutes dependent upon the complexity of the case) in order to determine what assistance we may be able to provide to you.  

Legal expenses insurance

Both businesses and individuals may have the benefit of insurance cover for legal expenses in an Employment Tribunal.  If you believe you have the benefit of such a policy, please inform us during our initial discussion.  We will need a copy of the policy and will liaise with the insurer on your behalf. 

Hourly rate

For all employment work – except for Settlement Agreement advice – we charge £255.00 per hour plus VAT.

Damages based agreement (“no win/no fee”)

We may be able to represent individuals on the above basis, but will only do so where your claim has a potential value exceeding £15,000.00.  Our fee, taken from the compensation recovered if you are successful, is 35% including VAT but excluding disbursements.     

Fixed fee

For both businesses and individuals we can agree a fixed fee with you to undertake either the entire claim or certain parts of your case as and when you require our assistance.     

Key Stages

The key stages of an Employment Tribunal claim can be summarised as follows: 

  • pre-action work – taking initial instructions from you, reviewing documentation and advising you on the merits and difficulties of your claim/response; 
  • Acas early conciliation – entering into the Acas mandatory process to explore whether a suitable settlement can be achieved; 
  • preparing claim or response; 
  • reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party; 
  • preparing/considering a schedule of loss; 
  • undertaking disclosure by reviewing all relevant documents and exchanging lists with the other party; 
  • preparing witness statements and agreeing their content with relevant witnesses; 
  • reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • preparing the Bundle of documents for use at the Hearing; 
  • preparing chronology and list of issues; 
  • advising on negotiations and possible settlement throughout the claim; 
  • preparation for and attendance at final Hearing. 

Range of costs

Costs vary dependent upon the type and complexity of the case.  When we have details of your case we will provide an estimate based on your specific needs and your exact circumstances.  An average unfair/constructive dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim will be listed by the Employment Tribunal for a one day Hearing. 

Our total costs for bringing or defending a claim for unfair dismissal/wrongful dismissal in an Employment Tribunal are likely to fall into the following ranges: 

  • a simple case with a final Hearing of 1 day in the Employment Tribunal – £4,500.00 – £6,000.00 plus VAT; 
  • medium complexity case with a final Hearing of 3 – 5 days in the Employment Tribunal – £10,000.00 – £15,000.00 plus VAT; 
  • high complexity case with a final Hearing of 5 – 8 days in the Employment Tribunal – £15,000.00 – £22,500.00 plus VAT.

The above are indicative figures only and represent the cost of a case going all the way through the Employment Tribunal process to the end of a full Hearing (excluding any appeal).  Many cases settle before this point.  Where that occurs, the costs are likely to be less than the indicative range provided.

Factors that could make your 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 brought by unrepresented claimants; 
  • making or defending a costs application; 
  • complex preliminary issues such as those involving time limits or whether the claimant has employment status; 
  • the number of witnesses and documents in the claim; 
  • whether the claim is for automatically unfair dismissal; 
  • if there are delays or cancelled Hearings by the Tribunal;
  • allegations of discrimination linked to the dismissal when the length of Hearing and the costs incurred are likely to significantly increase.

Where more time is spent on your matter due to the above factors costs will  increase and in that event we will provide you with details.

Disbursements

These are costs payable by us to third parties on your behalf and may include, for example, counsel’s fees if they are asked to represent you at a Tribunal Hearing.  We make payment of the disbursements on your behalf but will require payments in advance from you to meet any such disbursements. 

Counsel’s fees are likely to fall within the range of £2,500.00 – £3,500.00 (plus VAT) per day for conducting a Tribunal Hearing dependent upon the experience of the counsel instructed.   We tend to only use counsel in more complex multi-day hearings.

How long will the matter take

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of the claim depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved.  If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, the case is likely to take a few weeks.  If the claim proceeds to a final Hearing listed for no more than a day, the case is likely to take four to six months from when you receive the notice of claim from the Tribunal.   If your claim is listed for more than a day the timescale will be longer.   These are estimates and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses. 

How to minimise costs  

  • speak to us early so that we can advise you on the process; 
  • keep careful notes of all Hearings attended and discussions with the other party.   Ensure these notes are taken during or shortly after any Hearings attended; 
  • keep copies of all relevant documents, including making a data subject access request, if appropriate; 
  • collate all relevant documents into a file in chronological order; 
  • prepare an accurate statement of events as they unfold.   Keep details of what happened, who was present and what was said; 
  • keep details of witnesses to events and what they might be able to say; 

The more detailed documentation you can provide to us in a neat, chronological sequence, the less time we will need to take on your matter.

Costs Orders in Employment Tribunals

Generally, in most Employment Tribunal claims, each side pays its own legal costs.  A Tribunal will not order one of the parties to pay the other side’s legal costs unless it considers that party to have behaved unreasonably in the way that it conducted its claim or defence.   

Mark Robinson – Head of Employment Law

Mark leads our employment team and is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.  He has over 30 years’ experience of conducting a wide range of employment claims for both businesses and individuals and of providing advocacy services in the Employment Tribunals.  He qualified as a Solicitor in 1983.  He holds a Masters Degree in Employment Law and Human Relations.