Clear and practical employment law advice
Employment law is a complex area and ever changing. Specialist employment advice for businesses is a necessity.
Helping individuals and small companies
Fortune Law act for individuals and small companies on a wide range of employment issues providing clear and practical employment law advice. This includes:
- Employment contracts for both junior and senior employees either on a full time or part-time basis
- Consultancy agreements including negotiation of and advice on bonus and commission schedules
- Preparing team handbooks and disciplinary and grievance procedures
- GDPR compliant policies for handling team data
- Termination of employment situations including grievance and disciplinary hearings
- Advising on TUPE transfers
- Redundancy situations
- Negotiation of settlement agreements
- Review of existing employment contracts and policies
How Fortune Law can help
Claims by employees or the handling of poor performance by employees are particularly demanding for businesses in terms of cost, time and personal resources. Litigation of any sort is best avoided where possible and preparation is often the key to achieve this.
At Fortune Law, we regularly advise on employment disputes including breach of contract matters during and post-employment. We are acutely aware of the types of problems that lead to excessive costs being unnecessarily spent by both parties on such matters.
To prevent tribunal claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal, discrimination or other potential claims, it is important to ensure your employment contracts and staff handbooks are up to date and protect your interests.
Taking legal advice at an early stage is also essential.
One key area which is often litigated or negotiated can arise on the exit of a senior employee or even a founder where the employment contract contains post-termination restrictions. and mechanisms dealing with shares and also board representation. You will want to ensure that your business is protected as far as possible and at whatever cost.
Our guideline of charges
In compliance with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) guidance on price transparency, we have outlined some key information relating to bringing and defending a claim against the Employment Tribunal for unfair or wrongful dismissal.
Our hourly rates (exclusive of VAT and disbursements) are – Partner: £425 + VAT, Associate Solicitor: £295 + VAT and £160 + VAT for paralegals.
In order to keep costs down, we delegate as much work as appropriate under careful supervision and as such, our charges normally represent a blended rate of our hourly rates. We find this approach as the most cost-effective solution for our clients save for complex and high-value matters where the matter is carried out by a partner.
Our fees for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are as follows:
- Simple case: £12,000-£20,000 + VAT
- Medium complexity case: £20,000-£30,000 + VAT
- High complexity case: £30,000-£50,000 + VAT
These figures are all estimates based on the key stages below and if the claim continues through to a final hearing. Most matters are resolved before a claim is heard.
The key stages of a case which are covered within our normal fees are as follows:
- 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 may be subject to change).
- The pre-claim conciliation process with ACAS.
- Preparing a claim or response.
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from another party.
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss or counter-schedule of loss.
- Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing.
- Exchanging documents (disclosure) with the other party and agreeing on a bundle of documents.
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
- Preparing a bundle of documents.
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
- Agreeing on a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
- Preparation and attendance at trial including any separate hearing to determine compensation, including instructions to Counsel.
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages above are not required, the fee may be revised subject to review of your matter.
Factors that make a claim more complex
As each claim is different in terms of legal and factual complexity, it is important to note that the information provided here can only be used as broad guidance and may impact the cost estimate for your matter.
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
- Where one or more one Preliminary Hearings are required.
- 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 or if there is an issue about status, i.e. whether they were an employee or worker of the employer (if this is not agreed by the parties).
- The number of witnesses involved, and the volume and complexity of the documents involved.
- The amount of correspondence between the parties in the case.
- If it is an ‘automatic unfair dismissal’ claim (e.g. a “whistleblowing case”).
- If there are allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
- The number of days that the main hearing lasts.
Funding Options – you may have other funding options available, these may include your cover under the legal expense insurance policy. You should check with your insurance provider for more information.
In addition to our fees, you may incur disbursements and expenses that are payable to third parties, Counsel fees, expert fees, travel expenses and court fees from time to time. These may also include other costs such as photocopying charges and couriers’ fees.
Counsel’s fees vary according to the experience of the individual. Fees for a hearing are usually based on a brief fee which covers the cost of preparation and the first day of the hearing and “refresher” or a daily rate which is payable for the second and each subsequent day of the hearing.
Typical fees for Counsel may be as follows:
Simple: £1,500 – £3,500 + VAT
Medium: £3,500 – £11,000 + VAT
High: £5,000 – £60,000 + VAT
The above is just an estimate and we will, of course, be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we obtain more information from you. As the matter progresses the likelihood of the time scale may also change.
How long will the case take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your case depends on the stage that your case is concluded. If a settlement is reached without bringing a claim in the Tribunal then your case is likely to take 6 – 8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case could take 4-12 months, although if your case is very complex and a long hearing is required this could be a timescale of up to 18 months – 2 years.
This above is just an estimate and we will, of course, be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we obtain more information from you. As the matter progresses the likelihood of the time scale may also change.
Our team has over 15 years of experience in dealing with employment disputes and delivers high-quality work in all matters relating to employment matters. Where a matter is outside of our expertise for example personal injury claims then we will always seek to refer you to an expert in this field.
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Got a question?
We can help with your employment law issues
Fortune Law are experienced employment law solicitors, based in the heart of central London.
Speak to a specialist and get employment law advice.
Telephone: 0203 900 8921 or complete the enquiry form.