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Employment tribunals

Our services and our team

Fox Williams is a City law firm with a strong reputation for providing employment law services to businesses and senior employees. Our team of employment lawyers is frequently asked to represent employers and individuals in connection with defending and bringing employment claims including claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal. We work with a number of the largest and best known businesses in the UK and senior executives to defend and bring these claims.

Our team of partners and lawyers providing employment tribunal litigation services comprises:

For information about the expertise of the lawyers who can work with you in providing advice and representation in bringing and defending claims of unfair and/or wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal, please click on the name of an individual above.

Our employment tribunal litigation team has a particular focus in dealing with employment tribunal litigation that is complex, is of higher (uncapped) value, has exceptional features and is potentially reputationally damaging to the losing party. Claims for ordinary unfair dismissal are subject to a cap limiting the amount that can be recovered. The cap is determined on an annual basis by the Government. Therefore we are most frequently instructed to bring and defend employment tribunal litigation involving multiple claims with a variety of features, including claims for discrimination, whistleblowing, equal pay or where reputational issues or points of principle arise. These are in many cases combined with a claim for either unfair or wrongful dismissal. We would be delighted to provide an assessment and a bespoke budget for undertaking work of this nature, which will depend on the factors set out below.

When we represent clients in employment tribunal litigation we offer a partner-led approach. Our services are provided always by a team of qualified employment lawyers supervised by a partner. This distinguishes our approach from some other legal providers, especially those providers that rely heavily on teams of unqualified paralegals. We have technology to manage the litigation process effectively and cost efficiently, and to monitor risks and your objectives as they develop during the litigation process. We also take time to properly explain the risks at each stage and to work with our clients to ensure that we devise and agree the most appropriate tribunal litigation strategy and that the claims we manage are run as cost effectively as possible.

The cost

No litigation is ever the same and our fees reflect the particular circumstances and features of the litigation. For example, if the litigation involves a simple claim of either unfair or wrongful dismissal with a single issue, with no issues requiring resolution before the final hearing, and there is only one witness for each party to the litigation, this litigation will be far less expensive than a claim with many issues, witnesses and a multiplicity of issues that need to be determined by a preliminary hearing, in addition to the final hearing.

As a result of these variables, we cannot provide a reliable estimate of the cost of us helping you until we have details of the unique circumstances of your case. Nevertheless, the following may be useful in to provide an estimate of the likely cost.

The cost for provision of advice to an employer for defending a straightforward claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal:

If we were instructed to provide advice and representation to an employer in relation to defending a straightforward claim before the employment tribunal brought by an employee for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal, we estimate that our fees could be in the region of £25,000* plus barrister’s fees. This estimate is for a single issue case with (1) no allegations of automatic unfair dismissal, (2) no other relevant or complicating factors, (3) no interim issues, (4) documents of no more than 100 pages, (5) one witness statement for each party of no longer than five pages, and (6) a one-day hearing at which the client was represented by a barrister. We estimate that the barrister’s fees would range from between £5,000* to £15,000* but these fees would vary depending on the seniority, skills and experience of the barrister instructed.

The cost for provision of advice to an employer for defending a more complex claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal:

For other more complex claims of either unfair or wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal we estimate our fees would range from £25,000* to £100,000* plus barrister’s fees that we estimate would range from between £10,000* to £30,000*, but these fees would vary depending on the seniority, skills and experience of the barrister instructed.

The cost for provision of advice to an employee for bringing a straightforward claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal:

If we were instructed to provide advice and representation to an employee in relation to the bringing of a straightforward claim before the employment tribunal against an employer for either unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal, we estimate that our fees would be in the region of £20,000* plus barrister’s fees . This is for a simple case involving (1) a single issue, (2) no other relevant or complicated factors, (3) no allegations of automatic unfair dismissal, (4) no interim issues, (5) documents of up to 100 pages, (6) one witness statement of no more than five pages and (7) a one- day hearing at which the client is represented by a barrister. We estimate that the barrister’s fees would range from between £5,000* to £15,000*, but these fees would vary depending on the seniority, skills and experience of the barrister instructed.

The cost for an employee for bringing a complex claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal:

For other more complex claims of either unfair or wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal we estimate our fees range from £20,000* to £100,000* plus barrister’s fees and occasionally more.  We estimate that the barrister’s fees would range from between £10,000* to £30,000* but these fees would vary depending on the seniority, skills and experience of the barrister instructed.

The variables which have a direct bearing on the price of all of the above include:

  • The number of issues in dispute
  • Whether there is a litigant in person
  • The number of documents disclosed by both parties
  • The number of witnesses involved
  • Whether there are any preliminary points to be resolved before the final hearing also needing a hearing
  • The number of days the case is listed for final hearing
  • The client’s purpose and objectives.

The basis for our charges is calculated by reference to the hourly rates of the lawyers involved. The rates for our employment partners range from £475* to £625*. These rates vary depending on the seniority and experience of the relevant partner as well as the complexity and value of dispute. The rates for non-partner (less senior/experienced) lawyers range from £250* to £375*. These rates also vary depending on the seniority and experience of the relevant lawyer.

Details of services

Key stages

The fees set out above for work bringing and defending claims for unfair dismissal 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 the claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising  theclaim or response from the other party
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing ( as set out above this stage  is not included in our estimate for bringing or defending a straightforward claim of unfair dismissal)
  • 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 a barrister.

We do not do the advocacy at final hearings (but will occasionally do the advocacy at preliminary hearings.) We believe that our clients’ interests are better served by using barristers to undertake advocacy who appear before the employment tribunals far more frequently than our team of employment lawyers.

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 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 between four to eight weeks to be resolved. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take between six months to one year. 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 case progresses.

*Disbursements, sundry charges and vat

All estimated fee amounts and rates in this section are exclusive of disbursements, sundry charges and VAT.

We invoice for disbursements paid or payable on behalf of clients (such as official filing fees, couriers or company search fees). We will not incur significant disbursements on behalf of clients without their prior approval but we may require a payment on account of these. We add a sundry charge to our fees of an amount of up to 3.5% (plus VAT) of the fees to cover communications and document production charges. We also invoice for VAT if applicable, at the prevailing rate, which is usually 20%.

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Contact

tel: +44 (0) 20 7628 2000
10 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1AF
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Accreditations

  • Top Ranked Chambers UK 2014 - Leading Firm
  • Ranked in Chambers Europe 2013 - Leading Individual
  • Ranked in Chambers Global 2014 - Leading Firm
  • Legal 500 - Leading Firm
  • The Lawyer UK 200 - Listed Firm
  • The Law Society Excellence Awards 2012 - Shortlisted
  • Investors in People - Bronze