Price and service transparency: Employment Tribunal claims for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal

Clients of BDBF instruct us either because they have received a strong personal recommendation or as a result of our industry leading reputation in the work we carry out for senior executives and employers. Clients do not come to BDBF because we are the cheapest option. We are not.  While no one enjoys paying legal fees, our clients recognise that high standards of service and delivery are worth paying for. 

BDBF are specialists in advising clients with high value and/or complex employment and partnership disputes in the Employment Tribunal and High Court.

BDBF is obliged by its regulator the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to provide transparency in respect of the prices it charges individuals and employers for particular types of work: specifically in respect of claims for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal. We provide this information below and hope it is useful in your decision as to which law firm to instruct. 

Every client, and every client’s matter, is different, and the charges we make depend on a range of factors. These include whether the work is for an individual or a business, the complexity and value of the matter, the seniority of the lawyer or lawyers engaged on it, and the amount of time it takes to complete.  

The pricing displayed below covers the following steps in the litigation: drafting the claim or defence, exchange of documents and witness statements, and the final hearing.  It does not cover party-party correspondence or any other work such as relating to applications made by you or your opponent to the Tribunal. For example, in respect of specific document requests for further information.

Services for Individuals

Unless it is clear that the scope of advice sought is going to be clearly defined and limited (such as signing off on a settlement agreement), we do not usually act on matters where there is less than £100,000 at stake and in many cases, the sums involved run into several millions of pounds.  This is to ensure that, as far as possible, our fees are proportionate to the complexity of the dispute and the value we can add to the matter.

We charge primarily on a time spent basis. Our hourly rates for services for individuals vary depending on the seniority of the lawyer or lawyers engaged, and the complexity and value of the matter. We review our hourly rates on an annual basis and update them with effect from 1 November each year. 

In the current financial year (2018/19) our hourly rates for work for individuals range from £270+VAT for our most junior associate solicitor to £670+VAT for our most senior partner. 

Bringing Employment Tribunal claims

BDBF acts for senior executives bringing many different types of Employment Tribunal claim against their employer. Often, these will be combinations of claims within one legal action, for example, unfair dismissal claims may be combined with claims for discrimination or being victimised for whistleblowing. This makes it difficult to provide discreet pricing indications for individual causes of action and the following are necessarily approximate guides. 

For unfair dismissal

A standalone claim for ‘ordinary’ unfair dismissal with a hearing length of 1 to 3 days may cost in the region of £30,000 to £80,000 + VAT, including disbursements. 

Typical disbursements will include the fees of counsel (that is, a barrister to represent you at hearings), and incidental costs such as photocopying charges and couriers. 

For wrongful dismissal

We have never brought a stand-alone claim for wrongful dismissal (i.e. a claim for notice monies) in the Employment Tribunal and given the current ceiling on compensation for this cause of action in the ET (£25,000) we would be very unlikely to do so.  Higher value wrongful dismissal claims are typically brought in the Civil Courts where there is no ceiling applicable. 

We do occasionally add this head of claim to another cause of action in the Employment Tribunal, such as discrimination.  Were we to bring a standalone claim with a hearing length of 1 day, this may cost in the region of £20,000 to £30,000+VAT, including disbursements.  

Again, typical disbursements will include the fees of counsel, and incidental costs such as photocopying charges and couriers. 

Services for Employers

We charge primarily on a time spent basis. Our hourly rates for services for employers vary depending on the seniority of the fee earner engaged. They are reviewed on an annual basis and updated from 1 November each year. 

In the current financial year (2018/19) our hourly rates for services for employers range from £270 + VAT for a junior associate solicitor to £670 + VAT for our most senior partner.

Defending Employment Tribunal claims

BDBF acts for employers in their defence of many different types of Employment Tribunal claim. Often, this will be the defence of combinations of claims within one legal action, such as for discrimination or victimisation for whistleblowing. As with individuals, this makes it difficult to provide discreet pricing indications for separate causes of action and the following are necessarily approximate guides. 

For unfair dismissal

Defending a standalone claim for ‘ordinary’ unfair dismissal may cost in the region of £30,000 to £80,000 + VAT, including disbursements. 

Typical disbursements will include the fees of counsel, and incidental costs such as photocopying charges and couriers. 

For wrongful dismissal

Defence of a standalone claim for wrongful dismissal may cost in the region of £20,000 to £30,000 + VAT, including disbursements. 

Typical disbursements will include the fees of counsel, and incidental costs such as photocopying charges and couriers. 

Timescales

Employment Tribunal proceedings for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal will (unless settled) last somewhere between 6 to 15 months between the issuing of the initial claim and the parties receiving the Tribunal’s judgment. The Tribunal will determine the precise case management timetable at the first preliminary hearing. 

Necessarily, the above information should be treated by you as an indicative guide. The information given is not contractually binding between us. 

Our service standard

For new prospective individual and employer clients seeking any type of employment law advice which is of a nature where we believe we can add value for what we charge, we understand how important it is that you receive prompt advice from an experienced lawyer. 

We, therefore, offer a free, confidential, same-day call with a lawyer to understand what your matter is about, how we can help and also to provide you with an idea of what it may cost. 

If you are interested in instructing BDBF, our lawyers will provide you with a more accurate fee estimate during the initial call, and if you instruct us they will give you regular written updates on the costs incurred and further estimates of costs as the matter progresses. 

Please contact us on 020 3828 0350 on or info@bdbf.co.uk for further information.

Want to make a complaint

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients.  When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  This will help us to improve our standards.

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