As a law firm, we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (“SRA”). As such we are required to publish price information in relation to some of the services we offer. Whilst we are able to provide indicative pricing in the paragraphs below, much will depend on the complexity and nuances of individual cases and the bespoke nature of the services that we provide.
The information below is intended to inform private individuals about our fees for bringing and defending claims for unfair and/or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal, which is the information that we are required to detail by the SRA.
Basis of our charges
Primarily our fees are based on the time we spend dealing with your work and the seniority and experience of the person instructed. Wherever possible we will provide an estimate of the costs involved in a specific piece of work, and where it is impracticable for us to give an estimate, we will endeavour to suggest a working budget based on our experience of similar work.
We usually offer clients the choice of whether they wish us to charge on an hourly basis or fixed fee basis. Charges based on an hourly rate will include all time spent on personal and other attendances, considering, preparing and working on papers, correspondence, research, preparing file notes, travelling to and from meetings, correspondence and making and receiving telephone calls. Time is charged in six minute units which are calculated at 10% of the hourly charge.
Our hourly rates range, depending on who is working on a matter, from £125 plus VAT for paralegals to £400 plus VAT for Tim Johnson, the principal of the firm. Our solicitor fee rate is £225 an hour plus VAT. The fee rate for a trainee is £125 plus VAT.
Any estimate of costs will be provided in good faith, but unless expressly stated will not be binding and will not amount to a fixed fee or quotation. In appropriate cases, you may set an upper limit on fees for which you may be liable without further authority, and beyond which you will not be liable without your consent. Our fees will be fair and reasonable having regard to all the relevant circumstances.
In particular we will take account of factors including time spent, the size and complexity of issues, amount of supporting evidence we need to consider, the urgency of the matter, any need or request to work outside of normal office hours and the expertise or specialist knowledge required.
The work we will undertake and our remit will be as agreed with you from time to time. We will keep you informed of issues arising, action taken and progress achieved. We will provide periodic updates, either as agreed with you or as appropriate to the matter being dealt with. We will let you know what action is needed by you and when, and we will make it clear when a matter is concluded or when no further action is required.
The amount of work that we are instructed to undertake (and therefore our costs) in an Employment Tribunal claim will depend on the type of claim and the circumstances of the case. The following provides an outline of potential fees in bringing or defending a straightforward unfair and/or wrongful dismissal claims in the Employment Tribunal:
Simple case: £20,000 to £45,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £45,000 to £80,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case are likely to cost at least £80,000 and can cost more than £250,000 (excluding VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex include:
If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information
Defending claims brought by litigants in person
Making or defending a costs application
Complex preliminary issues such as whether the Claimant is disabled or whether the claim was brought within the applicable time limits
The number of witnesses and volume of documents
Allegations of discrimination which are linked to dismissal
Allegations of whistleblowing
The length of the hearing
The experience and skills needed to deal with your case
In dealing with your work we may incur various expenses (called disbursements) for which you will be liable in addition to our fees. Disbursements often include, but are not limited to, the cost of Counsel’s fees, Court fees (if any), expert’s fees, courier fees, charges for substantial photocopying (such as preparing trial bundles), travel charges, bank charges, and other out of pocket expenses.
We will explain to you any reasonably foreseeable payments that we may have to make on your behalf. If disbursements are incurred in a currency other than GBP these will normally be calculated and invoiced to you at the published HSBC internet banking exchange rate on the date of payment. Exchange rates do fluctuate (including during the course of the business day), sometimes giving rise to minor discrepancies. We will not be liable to account to you for any gain, nor will you normally be liable for any loss arising from an alteration in exchange rate.
The main disbursements we anticipate will be Counsel’s fees. Counsel’s fees vary with their relevant seniority and experience.
Value Added Tax
Our fees and most disbursements are subject to VAT. VAT is currently set at 20%.
How long will my matter take?
We will do our best to progress legal work efficiently and cost-effectively. We will make a point of discussing relevant timetables, progress and deadlines with you.
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 the ACAS early conciliation stage, your case is likely to take up to 8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final Employment Tribunal Hearing, it is likely to take between 8 months and 2 years. We will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
What is included in our fees?
The service you can expect from us when acting for you to bring or defend claims in the Employment Tribunal has been generally set out below:
Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and potential compensation (which will be revisited throughout the process and will be subject to change)
Entering into ACAS early conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached
Preparing your claim form or response to a claim
Reviewing and advising on the claim form or response from the other party or parties
If applicable, preparing or advising on applications such as to amend claims or to provide additional information
Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing, or instructing Counsel to attend a Preliminary Hearing
Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
Reviewing and advising on the other party’s documents
Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing content with witnesses
Preparing a trial bundle
Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or a cast list
Preparation and attendance at a Final Hearing including giving instructions to Counsel
Settlement discussions and negotiations throughout the process
What is excluded?
Disbursements – we handle most of the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process but this cost is not included in the fees we quote you unless otherwise stated. We will ask you to provide disbursement costs in advance to be held on your behalf in our client account.
Fee quotes for specific matters
Please contact us to discuss fees and pricing in detail as the fees estimated above will depend on the circumstances of your case.
The qualifications and experience of the lawyers handling your case
Tim Johnson, the principal of the firm qualified as a solicitor in 1979 and has specialised in employment law since 1982. He supervises all of the lawyers in the team which acts for both employers and employees. During his time in practice Tim has litigated many hundreds of Employment Tribunal cases. Some have become important precedents in employment law. He has conducted litigation in the House of Lords, Court of Appeal the Employment Tribunals. He has also written widely about employment law and edited and contributed to leading text books on the subject. He has spoken at important national and international seminars and appeared on TV and the radio discussing employment law issues.
Julia Fedorenko is a solicitor. She has a degree in law from Birbeck College, London and began working on employment law at Tim Johnson/Law in June 2017. She trained with the firm and became a solicitor in August 2019. During her time with the firm Julia has worked on cases at the Employment Tribunal involving whistleblowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal. Two of the cases she worked on, that of Dr Bawa-Garba and that of Dr Chris Day, were heard in the Court of Appeal and received extensive coverage in the media. Since qualifying Julia has specialised in employment law and successfully advised on more than 20 matters.
Aman Puni is a trainee solicitor with a degree in law from Southampton University. He first joined the firm in May 2017 after working in other law firms as a paralegal. Since joining us he has gained experience in Employment Tribunal procedure, unfair dismissal and related areas such as whistleblowing law and discrimination.
Youcef Boussabaine is a paralegal. Before joining Tim Johnson/Law, Youcef read law at the Queen’s College, Oxford, graduating with a first and receiving the Littleton Chambers prize for achieving the highest mark in Employment law and the Mander Law Prize for obtaining the best result in final examinations at the Queen’s College. His experience of the practice of employment law started when he joined Tim Johnson/Law in January 2020. Alongside his work at Tim Johnson/Law, Youcef is a Non-stipendiary Lecturer in Contract Law at Christ Church College, Oxford.