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Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal is when an employee is dismissed from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner.

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal depends on the circumstances of the particular case. Accordingly, the fees below are merely a guide, to highlight our usual rates and to give approximate details:

Simple case: £1,000 to £10,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £5,000 to £15,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £15,000 to in excess of £30,000 (excluding VAT)

Factors that could make a case more complex:
• If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
• If the claim or any aspects of the claim are conducted in the county court
• 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)
• Attendance at preliminary hearings or tribunal hearings
• Attendance at meetings
• Mediation or arbitration, or negotiation in settlement discussions
• The number of witnesses and documents
• If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if there is a dismissal after blowing the whistle on the employer
• Allegations of discrimination, whistleblowing, deduction from wages, or breach of contract
• Any other additional claims or defences which are not linked to the (wrongful or unfair) dismissal

Costs may also be decreased by a variety of factors, such as completion of the matter before the hearing stage, the need to only review a limited number of documents, or a fewer number of hearing days, or (in exceptional cases) the other side paying for some of the fees. If the case relates to any other issues, apart from wrongful dismissal or unfair dismissal, this will also impact upon cost levels.

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing, based on our hourly rates. Fees for attendance may be in the region of £1,200 per day (excluding VAT), but we will inform you of the precise fees in advance of the hearing. Generally, we would allow two to three days depending on the complexity of your case. However, if the case involves multiple issues and/or witnesses, it may be listed for significantly longer.

We would also discuss with you whether any alternative funding options may be available, such as cover under an insurance policy, or fixed fee arrangements.

Preferential rates may also be available to our business clients upon request.

Disbursements


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.

Counsel's fees estimated between £200 plus VAT to £500 plus VAT per hour (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

Key Stages

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. There may also be additional stages, and we will confirm the level of fees to be incurred if that is the case. You may wish to handle the case yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged 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 stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take anything from two to six weeks. If the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take much longer. The timescale is determined by the dates that are set by the Employment Tribunal, and could take in the region of twelve months. 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.


Our Employment Team

Our team has over 30 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to employment law.

There are three members of the Employment Department who may work on your matter as detailed below:

Steve Wengraf is a Partner and Head of Litigation with a current hourly rate of £240 plus VAT
Caroline Lee is a Consultant Solicitor with a current hourly rate of £220 plus VAT
Tanya Summers is a Solicitor with a current hourly rate of £170 plus VAT

Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Steve Wengraf, Partner and Head of Litigation.

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