Employment Disputes

In a progressively litigious society, and with ever increasing knowledge of employment rights by staff, employment disputes and tribunal claims are  becoming more or a problem for employers.  Dispute and claims can have serious reputational and financial consequences for an employer.

Equally, for an employee an employment dispute can be emotional and affect every aspect of their financial and personal affairs.

It is therefore imperative that whatever side of an employment dispute you find yourself, you are able to source quick and accessible legal advice from a knowledgeable and approachable team of solicitors.

Butcher & Barlow’s Employment Law team represent clients in a varied range of employment disputes. Our aim is to identify the best solution early on, considerations option such as alternative dispute resolution namely mediation and conciliation. Our team are able to assist in both bringing and defending a claim where this is unavoidable.

Employment Tribunals: Unfair and/or Wrongful Dismissal

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority, the body which regulates law firms, require us to provide you with information on our costs in relation to certain legal services which we provide.  This is so that you have the information you need to make an infrared choice of legal service provider, and an understanding as to what the total cost of that service may be.

One such service is the provision of advice and representation to either

  • Employees (the ‘Claimant’) in relation to the bringing of claims before an Employment Tribunal against an employer for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal

or

  • employers (the ‘Respondent’) in relation to defending claims before an Employment Tribunal brought by an employee for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal

For any other employment-related matter please contact Justin Kelly for a no obligation initial discussion.

Each claim or defence we deal with is unique albeit each has common elements and stages of the proceedings.  The exact costs will be largely dependent upon a number of factors such as (but not limited to);

  • The stage which the claim reaches (e.g. there will usually be less cost if the claim is settled at an early stage);
  • The approach of the opponent;
  • The number of witnesses and volume of documents that are relevant to the claim(s); and
  • Whether there are any other complexities such as language issues where interpreters are needed.

We will, at an early stage (usually at an initial meeting) particularly in the case of Claimants, discuss whether there are any funding options available e.g;

  • cover under an insurance policy; or
  • cover under Union Membership.

In this guide we set out an average range of costs for Low to High complexity cases.

We use the following terms in this guide:

Form ET1The claim form outlining the case and the nature of the dispute
Form ET3The response form when a claim has been made
Particulars of claimThe Document that sets out the factual detail of a claim, and the legal basis for it.
Interlocutory applicationsA provisional decision given during the course of a legal action usually involving a hearing

Range of Costs

Simple Case£3000  – £4000 plus VAT (£3600 – £4800) plus disbursements*

This includes:

·       initial meeting(s),

·       Gathering information and documentation,

·       preparing ET1 and Particulars of Claim or ET3,

·       preparing lists of documents you propose to rely upon,

·       meeting witnesses and preparing statements and review of opponents statements  where appropriate,

·       preparing summary of the case if requested by the tribunal and

·       instructing a barrister to attend the tribunal on your behalf and usually initial 1-2 hour attendance at the tribunal on the day of hearing

Medium Complexity Case£4000 – £5750 plus VAT (£4800 – £6900) plus disbursements *

·       This includes

·       initial meeting(s),

·       Gathering information and documentation,

·       preparing ET1 and Particulars of Claim or ET3,

·       preparing lists of documents you propose to rely upon,

·       meeting witnesses and preparing statements and review of opponents statements  where appropriate,

·       preparing summary of the case and  if requested by the tribunal statement of issues for the tribunal to consider and

·       instructing a barrister to attend the tribunal on your behalf and usually initial 1-2 hour attendance at the tribunal on the day of hearing

High Complexity Case£5750 – £7500 plus VAT (£6900 – 9000) plus disbursements *

This includes:

·       initial meeting(s),

·       Gathering information and documentation,

·       preparing ET1 and Particulars of Claim or ET3,

·       preparing lists of documents you propose to rely upon,

·       meeting witnesses and preparing statements and review of opponents statements  where appropriate,

·       preparing summary of the case and  if requested by the tribunal statement of issues for the tribunal to consider and

·       instructing a barrister to attend the tribunal on your behalf and usually initial 1-2 hour attendance at the tribunal on the day of hearing

 

We will seek to advise you as early as possible in the claim or defence process whether we believe your claim/defence will be considered low, medium or high complexity. This will often be apparent from the claim form (if defending) or from the facts presented by a claimant at an initial meeting.

* Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as barristers (counsels) fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. At present there are no fees payable to the Employment Tribunals for commencing claims although we understand this is under review by the government.

Counsel’s fees to deal with a final hearing are estimated between £750 plus vat  to £1500 plus vat  per day (depending on experience of the advocate) (including preparation).

Matters not covered in Range of Costs guide(s)

  • unforeseen complications such as a change in the nature, value or complexity of the claims;
  • any enforcement action that is required or necessary to defend;
  • any introduction of discrimination allegations (in which case the Tribunals will usually order a minimum of 2 days of hearing even in simple discrimination claims);
  • any insolvency issues (Claimant or Respondent);
  • counter claims within the claim itself;
  • multi-party actions;
  • issues as to Jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the claims;
  • requirement for interpreters;
  • defence of claims by litigants in person (ie where the claimants representing themselves);
  • any other complicating or unexpected issue which may arise from time to time (which we will identify as early as possible and report to you along with revised costs estimates).

Early Settlement

At all stages we would seek to advise you as to the merits in seeking to settle the claim without proceeding to a full hearing and would undertake a costs/benefit analysis to seek to ensure that it is beneficial from a financial perspective to continue to defend or pursue a claim.

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 4-6  weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 3-6  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.

The Employment Law Team

Meet your Employment Law specialists.

an image of Justin Kelly, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Justin Kelly

Bramhall, Northwich - Gadbrook Park