Our experienced employment team advises predominantly SMEs and large corporates on a range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters. We provide day to day legal advice to employers on a variety of workplace issues including employment contracts, staff handbooks, bonus schemes, disciplinary and grievance processes and dismissals.
We also advise on strategic projects such as reorganisations, restructurings and collective consultations.
On the contentious side, we have a wealth of experience acting for employers in defending claims brought against them in the Employment Tribunal (as well as bringing claims on behalf of individuals at senior and board-level). Our experience ranges from defending straightforward unfair dismissal claims, to high value and complex multi-party claims for discrimination and failures to collectively consult. We also act for employers, in High Court injunction matters.
Our employment team's experience includes:
- Advised a national corporate in bringing High Court injunction proceedings to prevent an employee from commencing work for a competitor, in breach of restrictive covenants contained in her employment contract. The High Court issued an interim injunction and costs order in our client’s favour, preventing the employee from working for a competitor and recovering a sum towards legal costs. After the interim injunction order, we successfully negotiated a favourable settlement for our client.
- Advised a leading UK food manufacturer/supplier in relation to the exit of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. This was a particularly complicated, high risk and high value termination, given the seniority of the employee involved.
- Advised a recruitment business on the TUPE transfer process, where over 30 staff were transferred into its business. As a result of us working closely with the client in careful planning, the process ran smoothly with a successful integration of the staff into the client’s business.
- Advised a leading events business in defending an Employment Tribunal claim brought by an ex-employee for religion and sex discrimination.
- Advising a global retailer on ad hoc day-to-day employment issues arising, including disciplinary and grievance issues when they arise.
- Simple case: £15,000 - £20,000 (excluding VAT).
- Medium complexity case: £20,000 - £35,000 (excluding VAT).
- High complexity case: £35,000 - £150,000 (excluding VAT).
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
- 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 (if this is not agreed by the parties).
- The number of witnesses and documents.
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if an employee is dismissed after blowing the whistle on an employer.
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
- Voluminous documentation.
- Protracted negotiations over settlement.
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £1,750 – £2,800 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 2-10 days depending on the complexity of your case. For very complex matters, hearing length could exceed that.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Counsel's fees estimated between £1,200 to £3,000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- 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 subject to change).
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
- Preparing claim or response.
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party.
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
- Preparing for (and 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 and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which the case is resolved, as well as the Employment Tribunal’s diary (to schedule a hearing) and availability of witnesses. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, the case is likely to take a few weeks. If the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, it could take up to 9-15 months. This is just an estimate and we would of course give a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.