We are required to provide the information set out below to inform individuals about the fees we charge for bringing and defending claims for unfair and/or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunals.
This information also gives potential clients an indication of the fees we charge for the other types of litigation. Our fees for advice, for instance where no claim is brought, will be substantially less. We will give you an estimate once we have assessed you case.
Please note that VAT at 20% is payable on all of our fees and, when payable, on disbursements.
Our fees for bringing or defending an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim
Most unfair dismissal claims settle without a hearing, so in most cases our fee will depend on the time we have spent working on the case before it settles. The stages the case is likely to go through are set out below.
You may just be considering a claim and want advice. In that case our fee will be based on hourly rates set out below and the time spent advising you. We will give you an estimate for that advice before beginning work. In most cases we are willing to agree a fixed fee for advice before starting work.
If we start work on a claim, and the case settles without a hearing, our fee will range between £2,000 (plus VAT) for a simple case which settles quickly to £120,000 for a complicated case which settles later, perhaps after more than a year of work.
If the case goes to a final hearing the amount we charge will depend on how complex the case is and how much work we have had to do. The stages through which a case would go are set out below.
Our fee for a case which go to a final hearing will be within these ranges:
Simple cases of one to two days hearing: £12,000 to £25,000 (plus VAT)
Complex cases of three to five days hearing: £25,000 to £50,000 (plus VAT)
Highly complex cases of more than five days hearing: £50,000 to £200,000 (plus VAT).
The basis of our charges
Our fees are based on the time we spend dealing with your case and the seniority and experience of the person carrying out the work.
The hourly rate of Tim Johnson is £400 (plus VAT). The fee rate of other solicitors with the firm is £225 an hour plus VAT. The paralegal fee rate is £125 plus VAT.
The experience and qualifications of fee earners carrying out your work
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 act 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 and 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.
Aman Puni is a solicitor with a degree in law from Southampton University. Aman qualified as a solicitor in August 2020. 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 and County Court procedures, unfair dismissal and related areas such as whistleblowing law and discrimination.
Justine Denis is a paralegal with a degree in law from King’s College London. She commenced her employment at Tim Johnson/Law in July 2020. Before starting her legal career, she worked in the human resources department of two major Canadian organisations. Justine also speaks French fluently.
The services we provide in unfair or wrongful dismissal cases and the stages these cases go through
The services we provide in unfair or wrongful dismissal cases, and the likely timescale for each, are listed below.
Please bear in mind that the time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter will depend largely on the stage at which your case is resolved.
If a settlement is reached before or during the ACAS early conciliation stage matters can be resolved in a few weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final Employment Tribunal hearing, the hearing will be more than ten months after your claim is made, and could be much later if the claim is complex.
These timescales vary depending on the Tribunal where your claim will be heard and its workload at the time. Timescales have also been affected by the Covid-19 crisis. We will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
The services we provide in an unfair or wrongful dismissal case and the likely timescales as follows.
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). This typically takes a week or so to complete.
Entering into ACAS early conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached. The early conciliation period usually lasts for about a month but can be much less or much longer.
Preparing your claim form or response to a claim. This stage typically takes a week or so to complete during which we take your instructions and draft the relevant forms.
Reviewing and advising on the claim form or response from the other party or parties. This normally takes a day or two, but could take longer if the claim is complex.
If applicable, preparing or advising on applications such as to amend claims or to provide additional information. This normally takes two to three days and can happen at any time during the litigation.
Preparing or considering a schedule of loss. This can usually be completed within a day but may take longer in complex cases.
Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing, or instructing Counsel to attend a Preliminary Hearing. Preliminary hearings may last from 15 minutes to two days and preparation may take half a day or longer.
Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents. Identifying the relevant documents, disclosing them to the other side and agreeing a bundle for the hearing may be done within a few weeks but in complex or difficult cases this can take many months and may continue right up to the hearing.
Reviewing and advising on the other party’s documents. This too may be done within a few weeks but can take months in complex cases and may continue right up to the hearing.
Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing content with witnesses. This may be done within a couple of days in a simple case but may take three or four weeks in complex cases.
Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements. This can normally be done within a day or two.
Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or a cast list. This can be done within a day.
Preparation and attendance at a Final Hearing including giving instructions to Counsel. This may take half a day or could take two or three days in a complex case.
Settlement discussions and negotiations may take place throughout the process. It is possible that the claim may be mediated. Mediation can usually take place at any time in the hearing. It can be completed in half a day or less in a simple case. Normally in our experience it is completed within a day, but we have also mediated over two weeks or more.
Our services include all you would expect from your lawyers except that we do not normally represent clients at the final hearing or important preliminary hearings where clients are represented by barristers. Barristers’ fees are charged in addition to the fees charged by the firm.
Barristers’ fees and other disbursements
Disbursements are fees and charges we have to pay to third parties when acting for you. Examples of disbursements are barristers’ fees, experts’ fees, court fees and travel costs for fee earners. VAT will be payable on barristers’ and experts’ fees. If we have to pay VAT on other disbursements we will charge you for the VAT.
Barristers’ fees are the most common, and normally the largest, disbursement in a case. They vary according to the experience of the barrister. 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 hearing fees for barristers are as follows:
Simple cases of 1 to 2 days hearing: Brief fee of £2,000-£4,000 (plus VAT) and refresher of £1000-£2000 (plus VAT)
Complex cases of 3 to 5 days hearing: Brief fee of £4,000-£12,000 (plus VAT) and refresher of £1,000 to £3,000 (plus VAT)
Highly complex cases of more than 5 days hearing: Brief fee of £5,000 to £40,000 and refresher of £1,500 to £3,500 (plus VAT).