Thank you for looking at our services for Employment Law. At Hancock Quins we regularly advise employers of all sizes across a wide range of industries on dealing with employment tribunal claims, early conciliation and other options for resolving employment disputes.
As an employer, you have a legal duty to provide a fair working environment that complies with all relevant legislation, while still needing to be able to manage your workforce effectively. If an employee has raised an issue or made a claim to an employment tribunal, it is essential to have the right expert advice to protect your business and reputation.
Our expert employment lawyer can guide you through each step of the process of dealing with an employment dispute, removing as much stress and uncertainty from the situation as possible. We can help you secure the best available outcome for your business as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible while minimising any negative impact on your commercial interests.
Our expert team have years of experience handling both straightforward and highly complex employment disputes at every level, from negotiation and early conciliation through to Employment Tribunal hearings and Employment Appeal Tribunals proceedings.
We appreciate that getting the right result is only one of the concerns when dealing with an employment dispute – protecting your reputation and making sure the matter is dealt with efficiently are often just as important. Usually, we can deal with the advocacy in your case “in house” so avoiding the additional expense of engaging a barrister. In some cases you may prefer to deal with the case yourself with our assistance for particular tasks in which case you will pay for as little or as much assistance as you need on an hourly basis. We therefore tailor our approach to your priorities, making sure we resolve your matter in a way that works for you and your business.
Value for money and overall costs are important factors for any business, so we will provide you with a range of estimates and keep you updated on costs at all times. That way you can budget appropriately and be confident that we are handling your case cost-effectively.
Whether you wish to settle a claim or fight it at tribunal, we will provide an honest assessment of the situation and commercially-focused advice to make sure you are pursuing the best strategy for your business.
Our fees for defending claims brought against your business for unfair and wrongful dismissal are based on three bands, which we will be happy to discuss with you.
The fees below assume we act throughout a case which proceeds to a contested hearing. The overwhelming majority of cases settle before such a hearing in which case the fees may be a fraction of those below.
We will advise you of the funding options available to you, for example, using any commercial legal expenses insurance your business is covered by.
There are various items we will consider when deciding what pricing band your case falls into. We will make this assessment and inform you of the relevant fees at the earliest opportunity.
Factors that may influence this include the need for:
- Responding to a claim has been made against you
- Reviewing documentation received setting out the factual and legal basis of the claim
- Responding to Orders made by the Tribunal
- Any applications to a Tribunal we need to make on your behalf
- Whether an Employment Tribunal hearing is required
The usual hourly charge out rate is £250.00 plus VAT. Based on this, total fees may be as follows:-
Cost/Range of Costs
Simple case – one witness on each side, straightforward factual dispute, no complex legal issues, listed for one day
£5,000.00 to £7,500.00 plus VAT
Medium complex case – number of witnesses, complex issues of fact/law
£8,000.00 to £12,000.00 plus VAT
High complex case – above issues and/or allegations of unlawful discrimination, listed for several days
£12,500.00 to £15,000.00 plus VAT
Plus Advocacy, per day
£1,500.00 plus VAT
Payments to Third Parties
There may be costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of these fees on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Exclusions and Factors Which May Make a Case More Complex
In the event that the issues become more complex, we will make sure you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided.
Factors that may lead to an increase in cost include:
- 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 the claim relates to an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if an employee claims they were dismissed after blowing the whistle on your business
- If the claim involves allegations of discrimination
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely upon 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 26-39 weeks.
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.
There are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:
- Taking your initial instructions
- Reviewing the papers and advising you on the merits of the claim being brought against you and likely compensation an Employment Tribunal might award if the claim is successful (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 your response to the claim
- 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