Information required by the regulator in relation to employment law services provided for bringing or defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

The purpose of this Information Note

This note provides only the pricing and service information that our regulator requires us to post to our website in relation to specific employment law services.   It is not intended to and does not provide comprehensive information about the employment law services we provide generally – Dixcart Legal provides employment law advice in a commercial context, guiding international and UK clients through the employment law aspects of commercial transactions and disputes in tribunal and the civil courts – Please contact your usual contact at Dixcart Legal for more information about our employment law services or email us at advice@dixcartlegal.com

  • Who will carry out the work
  • How long will it take?
  • The work we do for you
  • Key Stages
  • Our Pricing
    • To defend a claim
    • To bring a claim
    • Pricing Information
  • Additional costs – Attendance at an Employment Tribunal Hearing
  • Additional costs – third parties (including information relating to disbursements)
  • Additional costs – Excluded items
  • Funding of costs – Employment dispute cover

Who will carry out the work where you wish to bring or defend a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal

Anne-Marie Pavitt and Sophie Banks carry out the employment work at Dixcart Legal. Anne-Marie is head of the employment department. Sophie Banks is supervised by Anne-Marie and Anne-Marie is supervised by Mel Smith Managing Director. Details of their experience and qualifications can be found on their profile pages.

We also have 3 paralegals who will assist in the immigration work where appropriate. Our paralegals are not legally qualified but they have between 2 ½ and 45 years’ experience in the legal profession. Our paralegals always work under the direct supervision of a solicitor.

How long will it take?

The time that it takes from taking initial instructions to the final resolution of the matter depends largely on the stage at which the case is resolved. If it is decided to try to settle the case early and a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, the claim may be resolved in 6 to 8 weeks (or less). 

If the claim proceeds to a final hearing and we are not able to successfully resolve it before then, then it is very much dependant on the availability of the applicable Employment Tribunal. It could take one year or more.  

These are just estimates and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

The work we will do for you

We have set out below the key stages of a claim.  These stages apply to defending a claim and equally apply to bringing a claim save as otherwise indicated by the wording appearing in italics in brackets.

Key stages

  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Reviewing and advising on claim from other party (Reviewing and advising on response from other party)
  • Preparing response (considering response)
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Considering a schedule of loss (Preparing a schedule of loss)
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
  • 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 other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparation for the full final hearing, including instructions to Counsel

Our pricing 

We carry out the work on an hourly rate basis and in the following two paragraphs we identify a typical range of our legal costs, exclusive of VAT for defending (first paragraph) and for bringing (second paragraph) a claim. These costs are based on Anne-Marie’s hourly rate (£285 per hour, excluding VAT).   All of the paragraphs thereafter provide important information that apply equally to both the defending and the bringing of a claim 

We are legally required to charge VAT (currently 20%) on all our legal costs. However, if you live outside the EEA, then we are not required to charge you VAT on our legal costs.  

To defend a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal

A typical legal costs range for settling a matter at pre-conciliation stage (this is negotiation prior to an Employment Tribunal application being made) on the basis that this is dealt with by way of a settlement agreement is on average £3,135, excluding VAT. This equates to an average time of up to 11 hours. Our legal costs for taking a matter to a full final hearing in the Employment Tribunal ranges from £21,945 to £35,625 (excluding VAT and disbursements such as barristers fees (see further below)). These fees include the preparation of the matter for the hearing but does not include attendance at the hearing itself (see further below). The fees equate to an average time of between 77 and 125 hours. The lower range costs are based on there being only three witness statement prepared. The higher range costs are based on there being up to six witness statements prepared.

To bring a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal

A typical legal costs range for settling a matter at pre-conciliation stage (this is negotiation prior to an Employment Tribunal application being made) on the basis that this is dealt with by way of a settlement agreement is on average £2,565, excluding VAT. This equates to an average time of up to 9 hours. Our legal costs for taking a matter to a full final hearing in the Employment Tribunal ranges from £18,525 to £30,495 (excluding VAT and disbursements such as barristers fees (see further below)). These fees include the preparation of the matter for the hearing but does not include attendance at the hearing itself (see further below). The fees equate to an average time of between 65 and 107 hours. The lower range costs are based on there being only one witness statement prepared. The higher range costs are based on there being up to three witness statements prepared.

Pricing information applicable to both the defending and bringing of a claim:

The exact number of hours it will take to defend or bring an employee claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal depends on the circumstances leading to the claim and the nature of the defence; whether bringing or defending a claim, in order to assess likely legal costs, we will need to consider the amount of supporting evidence we need to obtain and consider and the levels of correspondence and the complexity of the claim and the case in defence of it. Please note the legal costs range we provide in this information note is based on the facts set out in this costs information. All cases are likely to vary and of course, we can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information about your specific case.

Providing us with all the information and documents we request at the start of the matter in a clear and methodical order will tend to keep our legal costs lower.  Factors which usually push our legal costs higher (and may well be above the range of costs indicated) can include (but please note that this is not an exhaustive list):

  • where urgent action is necessary
  • lengthy/numerous correspondence
  • complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
  • if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if the employee alleges he/she was dismissed after blowing the whistle on his/her employer
  • a large number of documents
  • allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

Additional costs – Attendance at an Employment Tribunal Hearing

There will be an additional charge for attending an Employment Tribunal hearing of £1,995 per day (excluding VAT) based on 7 hours per day in attendance at the Employment Tribunal. In most instances we would recommend that a barrister be instructed to attend the Employment Tribunal and advocate on your behalf. Before instructing a barrister we would obtain a fee estimate for attendance. For simple cases we would expect that the barrister instructed would attend the hearing without a solicitor in order to limit costs. For medium and high complexity cases a solicitor will also be required to attend at the rate of £1,995 per day. (This is an additional fee to the charges indicated above).

Counsel’s (the barrister instructed to attend the Employment Tribunal) fees are likely to be between £750 to £2,000 per day (depending on experience of the barrister) (excluding VAT) for attending an Employment Tribunal hearing (including preparation). 

Additional costs –  third parties (including information relating to disbursements)

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as counsels fees (see above) and fees for medical reports (if required) (see below). 

We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Before incurring third party fees we will obtain an estimate and notify you of the same. We may require you to put us in funds for the amount before incurring the fee.  

The Employment Tribunal does not charge fees for defending or bringing a claim.

Fees for medical reports will vary depending on the type of condition and the detail required in the report but typically we would expect a range of between £500 and £1,200 (excluding VAT). 

If we need to incur travel costs (such as second class train fares) and/or couriers fees you would be charged for these at cost.

If we pay a disbursement then the third party will usually have to charge us VAT (currently 20%). In most circumstances we pass that VAT charge onto you.

Additional costs –Excluded items

In certain circumstances wrongful dismissal claims may/should be brought in the civil courts rather than the Employment Tribunal. Claims brought or defended in the civil courts are subject to different procedural rules. The fee structure set out above does not apply to wrongful dismissal claims in the civil courts. 

The following items are not included in the above legal costs range and will attract additional costs:

  • defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
  • where it is necessary to make or defend any interim applications on your behalf (meaning any applications to the Employment Tribunal made by either party prior to the final hearing)
  • if it is necessary to amend your response to the claim following any application by the claimant to amend their claim (or to amend your claim)
  • making or defending a costs application
  • where we need to prepare more than 6 witness statements when defending a claim (and more than 3 when bringing a claim)
  • bringing or defending any appeals

Funding of costs – Employment dispute cover

We always recommend that before incurring legal costs you check to see if you have employment dispute cover included with any insurance policies you may hold. 

For individuals this cover can sometimes be included in any additional packages that your bank may provide, normally for an additional monthly fee. 

If you have such cover we do strongly recommend that you speak with the insurance provider to see if you have a valid claim for legal expenses under your insurance. 

Version: 2

Effective Date: 21 November 2019

Dixcart Legal Limited

The data contained within this document is for general information only. No responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies. Readers are also advised that the law and practice may change from time to time. This document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute accounting, legal or tax advice. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.