The importance of obtaining quality representation
When you face problems at work, or have been dismissed, you need immediate access to expert legal advice. Unfortunately, many providers of employment advice are not specialists but will still charge you thousands of pounds for their services. Employment tribunals (originally set up to be ‘lawyer-free zones’) have become increasingly legalistic. Perhaps for this reason, 95% of litigants-in-person lose their discrimination claims and the few that win achieve lower awards. The main problem most claimants face is obtaining affordable but quality advice.
Equal Justice Ltd solicitors (“EJS”) has pioneered “affordable representation” for its clients.
We are aware that the legal market is very over-priced. We are a human rights firm and believe that claimants (and responsible employers) should not be costed out of justice.
We work out how much the Employment Tribunal (“ET”) claim will cost to run to the final hearing (on the worst-case scenario that it does not settle). We then see what the client can afford and try to find a costs arrangement which allows that client to progress their claim to trial (where it does not settle) without the stress of, and risk of, being costed out of justice by their own lawyers’ fees.
In the ET, this is particularly important because the losing party does not have to pay the winner’s legal costs (except in exceptional circumstances), so normally whatever happens the claimant has to bear her/his own legal costs.
Where a client cannot afford the private fee rate costs of taking the matter to trial, where possible, we offer a variety of cost limiting schemes such as fixed or capped costs, no win, no fee agreements, free (pro bono) work and a combination of those options. Pure no win, no fee agreements require specific criteria and are normally limited to 3 months.
Most of our work involves discrimination and/or whistle-blowing detriment and/or dismissal claims.
We sometimes accept Wrongful Dismissal claims and/or Unfair Dismissal claims which do not involve discrimination or an automatically unfair reason for the dismissal.
The current cost of running an ET Discrimination and/or Whistle-Blowing claim to an ET final hearing (including advocacy) is in the region of £20,000 plus vat to £31,000 plus vat for a three-day trial, depending on the seniority of the solicitor(s) selected.
Our capped costs for such cases range from £8,000 plus vat to £16,000 plus vat and normally include a contingency fee element of 10%-25% plus vat.
The current cost of running an ET Unfair Dismissal and/or Wrongful Dismissal claim to an ET final hearing (including advocacy) is in the region of £9,500 plus vat to £14,650 plus vat for an one day trial, depending on the seniority of the solicitor(s) selected.
Our capped costs for such cases range from £3,500 plus vat to £7,000 plus vat and normally include a contingency fee element of 10%-25% plus vat.
Our current private fee rates are as follows (for 2019):
|Work done – charge rates (all figures exclude VAT)||Lawrence Davies,
(qualified in 2016)
(qualified in 2018)
|Hourly rate for drafting, preparing for tribunal/court hearing, client meetings, and all communications over 12 minutes in length|
|Letter out/E-mail out||
|Letter in/E-mail in and Tel call (less than 12 mins)||
|Advocacy (per hour) and EAT work, Emergency work Judicial Mediation||
|Waiting at tribunal/travel to tribunal (per hour)||
Discrimination ET cases at the ET (such claims may also involve Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal claims)
While the amount of work hours undertaken in a discrimination case vary, according to complexity, length etc, the table below provides an estimate of total charges and expenses for the work to the conclusion of any ET final hearing (based on Mr. Davies’ capped hourly rates):
|Work Done||Cost estimate||Running total|
|Taking your instructions||1,000||1,000|
|Perusing documents and other preparatory work||2,000||3,000|
|Drafting your ET claim (ET1)||1,000||4,000|
|Reviewing the Defence (ET3)||1,000||5,100|
|Preparing a List of Issues||750||5,850|
|Attending the Case Management Discussion at the Employment Tribunal||900||6,750|
|Preparing the List of Documents (per 100 documents)||750||7,500|
|Reviewing the Respondent’s documents (per 400 pages) and, where necessary, preparing an application for specific disclosure||750||8,250|
|Drafting your witness statement (per 25 pages)||2,500||10,750|
|Drafting the statements of supporting witnesses (per witness)||750||11,500|
|Reviewing the Respondent’s statements (per 100 pages)||1,000||12,500|
|Preparing the Trial Bundle||1,000||13,500|
|Preparing cross-examination and for the hearing (20 hours) (assuming a three day hearing – each extra day will be charged at £1,500 plus VAT per day) and Advocacy at final hearing||9,000||23,500|
|Client attendances and general casework during case (20 hours)||6,000||29,500|
|Drafting the closing submissions||1,500||31,000|
The above estimate of £31,000 does not include VAT nor the costs of any Open (public) Preliminary Hearings (£3,000 plus VAT). It also assumes that the claim will be heard and concluded at a single three day final hearing. Part-heard hearing will increase the cost.
Longer hearings and the preparation for them will cost overall approximately: – 5 day – £30,000; 10 day – £50,000; 15 day – £65,000 (all figures exclude VAT).
Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal claims at the ET (which do not involve discrimination etc)
|Work Done||Cost estimate||Running total|
|Taking your instructions||500||500|
|Perusing documents and other preparatory work||1,000||1,500|
|Drafting your ET claim (ET1)||500||2,000|
|Reviewing the Defence (ET3)||500||2,600|
|Preparing a List of Issues and agenda||600||3,200|
|Attending the Case Management Discussion at the Employment Tribunal||600||3,800|
|Preparing the List of Documents (per 100 documents)||500||4,300|
|Reviewing the Respondent’s documents (per 400 pages) and, where necessary, preparing an application for specific disclosure||500||4,800|
|Drafting your witness statement (per 10 pages)||1,200||6,000|
|Drafting the statements of supporting witnesses (per witness)||450||6,450|
|Reviewing the Respondent’s statements (per 100 pages)||500||6,950|
|Preparing the Trial Bundle||500||7,450|
|Preparing cross-examination and for the hearing (5 hours) and Advocacy at the one day final hearing||3,000||11,050|
|Client attendances and general casework during case (10 hours)||3,000||14,050|
|Drafting the closing submissions||600||14,650|
The above estimate of £14,650 does not include VAT nor the costs of any Open (public) Preliminary Hearings (£1,500 plus VAT). It also assumes that the claim will be heard and concluded at a single three day final hearing. Part-heard hearing will increase the cost.