Our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requires us to provide certain information on our services (the SRA Transparency Rules) and we outline this information below.
Employment Tribunal claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal
We specialise in Employment Tribunal cases for unfair or wrongful dismissal.
You should note that you must bring a claim in the Tribunal within 3 months from the date of termination of your employment, subject to a 1 month stay in proceedings if the matter is referred to ACAS for pre-action conciliation. That means you should instruct a solicitor as soon as possible, as there is likely to be a considerable amount of preparatory work to complete before your claim can be filed.
What should I do now?
If you think you have a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal, or you have been made redundant but have concerns as to whether this was the real reason for your dismissal and/or you feel the redundancy selection procedure was unfair, contact one of our employment law specialists on 0800 092 1448 to discuss the options that may be available to you. We offer an initial telephone conversation free-of-charge, during which a member of our experienced employment law team will advise you of your legal options.
How long will my claim take?
If your claim is settled during pre-action conciliation, we are likely to be engaged for between 2 weeks and 3 months. However, if your claim proceeds beyond this stage, it could take anything between 3 months to 1 year before the Tribunal lists your case for a final hearing. This will depend on the complexity of your claim, as well as the availability of a Tribunal to hear it.
Our employment law team
Our employment law specialists have many years of experience of filing claims with employers’ and their insurers. Using that experience and our specialist knowledge we value and prove our clients’ claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal and then aim to negotiate maximum settlements.
Our solicitors handling employment cases have many years specialist litigation experience. They are;
- David Lee (13 years qualified solicitor)
- Tim Hampson (9 years qualified solicitor)
- Mark Cosgrove (26 years qualified solicitor)
- Catherine Martin (9 years qualified solicitor)
- Rajinder Singh (10 years qualified solicitor)
- Adam Belcher (8 years qualified solicitor)
- Anthony Mansi (6 years qualified solicitor)
This is where an employee considers termination of their employment not to have been for a ‘statutory fair reason’ and/or their employer did not follow a ‘fair procedure’. In such circumstances the employee has the option to apply to the Employment Tribunal for an appropriate remedy.
So long as the reason for the decision of the employer is not ‘inadmissible’, the employee must have been employed for a period of at least two continuous years in order to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.
An employer will be in breach of contract if they are not entitled to dismiss an employee without notice (known as summary dismissal) and does not give the required period of notice. The employee will then be able to issue a claim for wrongful dismissal.
This principle does not apply if the employer exercises a Payment In Lieu of Notice provision in the employee’s contract. In that case, the employee would have to sue for a sum due under the contract, rather than damages for breach of contract.
The likely costs and the legal process
To help you understand the potential costs and the legal process involved, we have set out below our pricing structure for bringing a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal for our clients, as well as the key stages of the legal process.
We offer an initial appointment free of charge, at which we will advise you of your legal options. Thereafter, if we can assist you, we may be able to offer you a ‘No Win, No Fee’ arrangement for your claim. This is known as a Conditional Fee Agreement.
If we are unable to offer you a ‘No Win, No Fee’ arrangement it is because in our opinion, we do not believe your claim has sufficient prospects of success. We would not offer you any other funding agreement, for example, ask you to pay our fees privately (whether as a fixed fee or an hourly rate).
Our “No Win, No Fee” agreement is a fixed fee of 20% (plus 4% VAT, 24% in total) from your compensation if you are successful. If unsuccessful, our clients pay us nothing. We reserve the right to apply a deduction in more complex or higher risk cases of up to 30% plus VAT (36% in total).
These are some of the factors that are likely to make a claim more complex or higher risk:
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims, or to provide further information about an existing claim
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties), whether a claim has been brought in time, and so on
- There are large numbers of witnesses and documents
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim, e.g. if you were dismissed after blowing-the-whistle on your employer
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
- If we have to instruct a Barrister (Counsel).
What our fee covers
Our fee (on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis) will cover the work in relation to the following key stages of your claim.
- Taking initial instructions from you, reviewing any papers and advising you if you have other funding options available, such as cover under an insurance policy
- Advising on merits and likely compensation. Please note, the amount of compensation is likely to be revisited throughout your matter and may be subject to change
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation, where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
- Preparing and sending a letter of claim
- Reviewing and advising on the response from other party
- Exploring and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
- Preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing
- Agreeing and preparing a bundle of documents and exchanging documents with the other party
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with your witnesses
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues and a chronology
- Preparation for and attendance at the final hearing, including instructions to a Barrister (Counsel) to represent you at the final hearing.
The stages set out above are an indication, and some may not be required in your claim.
The employer’s legal costs
The Employment Tribunal is a costs-neutral zone, which means:
- There are no fees payable to the Employment Tribunal to issue a claim.
- Except in extreme circumstances (such as where a claim is vexatious or the conduct of either of the parties is so unreasonable as to warrant an order for costs), the Tribunal will not order the unsuccessful party to pay the legal costs of the other side. Therefore, each party is effectively responsible for payment of their own legal costs, without risk of having to pay their opponent’s legal costs.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Counsel’s fees. We handle payment of disbursements on your behalf, to ensure a smoother process.
We may recommend instructing specialist Counsel to draft particulars, advise on issues that arise during the course of proceedings and to represent you at Tribunal hearings. In that case we will agree Counsel’s fees with you beforehand.
The Barristers we instruct generally charge an hourly rate for their work of between £200-£300 per hour or a fixed fee equivalent to that. We are responsible for Counsel’s fees and all Counsel’s fees will be included in our fee deduction from your compensation, so you will not pay more than 30% (plus VAT) of your compensation and will have nothing to pay if unsuccessful. The amount charged by Counsel will reflect the seniority of the barrister, the complexity of the case, whether they are prepared to act for a fixed-fee or under a ‘No Win, No Fee’ arrangement and the length of any hearings.
If there are likely to be any additional or unexpected costs we will inform you of them at the earliest opportunity and we will provide you with a clear estimate of those extra costs.
Exclusions from our ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement
Our commitment is to never charge a client if the case is unsuccessful. In exceptional circumstances, we do reserve the right to charge clients (on an hourly rate basis for work undertaken) if only;
- A client deliberately misleads us and this has a material impact on the outcome of the case
- A client fails to co-operate with us, for example, refusing to respond to correspondence or failing to attend a hearing such that the claim is compromised.