Employment Law Costs – Unfair and Wrongful Dismissal.

At O’Donnell Solicitors we understand that when a dispute arises, our clients want an understanding of the potential costs in pursuing that dispute from the outset. Litigation by its very nature can be unpredictable and there are various factors throughout any litigation which can affect the time and ultimately the costs incurred.

In litigation, our fees are based on an hourly rate and at the outset of your matter you will be assigned a solicitor and will be advised of their hourly rate. It is difficult to estimate how many hours will be required until full details of the matter have been disclosed and even at that stage there are various factors which can make an estimate difficult.

In most cases, disputes can be resolved before the costs of a full hearing at a tribunal have been incurred. However, in the event that a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal goes to a hearing, including a 1-day hearing and assuming a straight forward process, our fees would be in the region of £8,000.00 – £10,000.00 plus VAT. This would include the following stages and estimated time-scales:

·         Issue of proceedings (1-4 weeks from instruction)

·         Preliminary Hearing (2-4 months)

·         Disclosure of documents (4-6 months)

·         Drafting and exchange of witness statements (4-8 months)

·         Representation at the final hearing (8-12 months)

·         Day to day management of your case.

This is based on a senior solicitor dealing with the matter and utilising more junior members of staff where appropriate. Fees will tend to be lower where a more junior solicitor is instructed, and higher where a Director is instructed. A Director will supervise all matters. A list of the hourly rates of our solicitors can be found here.

In the event that disbursements are payable in your matter (such as counsel fees, expert witness fees) these will be payable separately however we would not incur those disbursements without client approval.

In Employment Tribunal proceedings it is usual that each side bears its own legal costs. It is usually only in the event that one party has acted wholly unreasonably that the tribunal would order one party to pay the others costs such as where there were no real prospects of success or where there have been wasted costs due to one party not adhering to a case management order.

Given the nature of employment litigation, it is not usual for us to arrange a fixed fee service. We do however endeavour to keep clients updated as to the potential costs and where possible arrange caps to our fees for certain aspects of litigation.

In some cases, you may be able to claim back your costs under a LEI policy and you should check your home buildings and contents cover to see whether you are covered for such litigation. Separately in some cases we can agree to a Damages Based Agreement (DBA) whereby we agree to deduct our costs from any damages awarded up to an agreed percentage.