Horizon Solicitors can represent you in the Employment Tribunal and will support you with ACAS pre-claims conciliation negotiating a deal with your employer and advising you on the best tactics to follow.
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Employment Tribunals were set up to provide a speedy, informal and inexpensive forum for the resolution of employment disputes, which was as accessible for employees as for employers. Currently there are no fees payable to bring a claim in the Tribunal. Although Tribunals are less formal than other courts, there are rules of procedure and standard processes to follow involving cross-examination of witnesses, legal argument on statutes and case law and summing up.
You can be represented by a solicitor, barrister, trade union representative or non-legally-qualified consultant, or you can represent yourself. There are no wigs or gowns worn and all parties and any witnesses remain seated throughout most of the hearing. The Tribunal panel may consist of an employment judge and two lay members, however in many cases, including claims for unfair dismissal, the employment judge hears the case alone.
We can help you at any level of involvement you choose, whether that be in just preparing the application form, or we can represent you throughout. We will agree the fee up front depending on what you want us to do. As referred to in our Ways of Working, it may be that you have the benefit of legal expenses insurance, which may cover our fees. Alternatively we may agree to take your case on a Conditional Fee Agreement (where we charge our hourly rate or agreed fee plus a % mark up if you win) or a Damages Based Agreement (where we charge a % of any damages that you recover), also known as “No Win No Fee” Agreements.
Further details about fees specifically for Employment Tribunal claims for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal (this means dismissal in breach of contract e.g. no notice), are set out below.
Structured preparation of the case will be key – so we will need you to assist with the chronological preparation of all relevant documents and your diary will be an important guide to help us put the jigsaw together.
The majority of claims are subject to ACAS pre-claims conciliation including:-
• Unfair dismissal
• Breach of contract
• Unlawful deductions from wages
• Discrimination and equal pay
• Protection from detriment
• Rights to time off
This is done by completing a form on line, which we can help you with and we can complete it together. Alternatively you can complete it with ACAS over the phone. ACAS will then attempt to speak to you or us, if you want us to represent you and we can advise whether to attempt to conciliate with your employer (which we can do for you) or say no and go straight to Tribunal. The 3 month time period for bringing a claim in the Tribunal is “paused” whilst the ACAS pre-claims conciliation process takes place, which can continue for up to one month plus 14 days.
If we conciliate and your employer participates then we can negotiate a deal prior to issuing proceedings. If this fails, even after proceedings have been issued, we can still seek to negotiate a settlement through ACAS since the cost of defending proceedings will encourage many employers to make a commercial offer of settlement. We will weigh this in the balance of the strength of your claim and likely award of compensation to advise you on the best tactics to follow.
Ultimately we want to help you look to the future and what will be on the next Horizon!
Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal
This is our pricing structure for bringing claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal up to the point of a hearing:-
Simple case: £1,000 – £3,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £3,000 – £6,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £6,000 – £10,000 (excluding VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
• If it is necessary to make 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 you are 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 £1,250 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1-3 days depending on the complexity of your case.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
We would not anticipate there being any disbursements payable in these types of cases other than barrister’s fees if we are unable to attend the hearing ourselves, or you want us to instruct a barrister, estimated at between £1,750 to £3,000 per day (excluding VAT) (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation) and then from £500 to £1,250 (excluding VAT) for each day thereafter for the same hearing (this is called a refresher).
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 subject to change)
• Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
• Preparing claim
• Reviewing and advising response from your employer
• Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
• Preparing 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 employer’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
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the 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 as we referred to above. We can agree this with you depending 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 3-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 4-8 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.
(Only by appointment)
St Peters Road