Price Transparency

Price Transparency Regulations – Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

 

New Regulations require solicitors to give either average case costs or a range of examples for certain types of legal work. We have given examples below of a typical claim and a complex claim for an employee client. We have then outlined the same for an employer.

 

We do not carry out average legal work and our clients typically do not fit the average mould either.

Therefore we have given a range of options for a claim by an employee (we typically act for professionals and senior employees) and for an employer (we typically act for Professional Practices and Service Businesses). Our assumptions are:

– The employee earns at least £30,000 (probably far more) –

– The employee may be subject to strict reference terms reflecting professional status (as a solicitor, doctor, FCA registered professional or a chartered accountant) –

We assess at the outset every case we take on and provide guidance on the likely outcomes and overall costs. Our cost for this initial review is £750 plus VAT and is limited to 75 pages of material and an initial discussion lasting up to one hour.

Simple case: £1,750 to £4,500 plus VAT – typically this is for a case that is resolved by negotiations and an agreement to settle the claims, known as a Settlement Agreement, is entered into before formal proceedings to the Employment Tribunal are needed.

Medium complexity case: £4,000-£10,000 plus VAT – typically this occurs when the simple option above does resolve matters and proceedings are necessary either to bring or resist a claim before the Employment Tribunal. Dealing with the Standard Directions of an Employment Tribunal would be included in this fee estimate.

High complexity case: £7,500 -£12,000 plus VAT – typically this occurs when one of the claims is linked to further claims, such as discrimination claims, medical or other expert reports are necessary or additional hearings to deal with disclosure or pre-hearing legal issues are necessary.

 

Historically the breakdown of our cases would be approximately a 50/30/20 percentage between simple, medium and high complexity. The fee range reflects our hourly rate of £300 per hour plus VAT. We are always happy to discuss fixed fees for each stage to allow you to control your costs.

Early communication from us helps resolve matters so we encourage this. The sooner you instruct us the more likely you are to benefit from our expertise.

In our first review of your matter, we will outline which category of case (simple, medium or high complexity) it falls into.

 

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 –

– 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 –

– Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal –

 

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £2,000 per day plus VAT. Generally, we would allow 1-2 days depending on the complexity of your case.

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 is subject to change) –

– Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached –

– Preparing the claim or response –

– Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the 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 bundles of documents for the Tribunal –

– Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements –

– Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list (which are Standard Directions in most cases) –

– Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel –

– Post-hearing administration –

 

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 legal advice in relation to some of the stages; however that is a service we choose not offer as we find it disruptive and often confusing for clients, although some firms do offer it.

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 1-4 weeks.

If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take six to twelve months.

This is just a standard guide and we will, of course, be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have specific information about your unique circumstances and as the matter progresses.

Who will do the work?

Paul Bennett deals with our employment work.

Paul has undertaken employment work since 2006, has been involved in hundreds of claims or responses (as defences are known) for employers and employees, ran a specialist employment law firm from 2009-2013 employing three other employment solicitors whom he supervised.

Paul is a listed individual Legal 500 2017 in Employment and prior to the launch of Bennett Briegal was an Employment Law Partner in both the Professional Practice and Employment Teams at a Top 200 Law Firm. Paul is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA).

For many years Paul has advised other law firms on employment-related matters.

 

Service Information & Complaints

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure here. [link].

Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint?

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves and you have a complaint about our service (including our fees). They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

– Within six months of receiving a final response from us to your complaint –

and

– No more than six years from the date of act/omission have passed –

or

– No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint –

 

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them:

Web: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Telephone: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Address: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

In the highly unlikely scenario that you believe we have acted unprofessionally, the Solicitors Regulation Authority may be able to help you if you are concerned about our behaviour.

We have to achieve certain basic professional standards in all we do and we strive to exceed these standards in everything that we do. If you are acting in good faith it is unlikely you will need to know this or to make a report, but we are obliged to inform you that you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority if you wish.

Legal advice for law firms, professionals & partnerships

Contact us now on 07785 623644 or fill in the form below: