EMPLOYMENT LAW ADVICE – EMPLOYEES & EMPLOYERS
At Jones & Co, our charges are open and transparent. We will always agree the funding method and estimated costs before we start work with you on your matter – our aim is to be up front and transparent about costs.
Costs – Benefit Analysis
We weigh up your options of taking legal action as opposed to not taking legal action. This is often known as “Costs Benefit Analysis”. The cases that we deal with are not always about recovering money or compensation. Often, keeping your job and avoiding a dismissal is far more valuable to the client than receiving a payment from the employer.
We provide reasonable costs estimates using our best judgement of the likely costs. In circumstances of pre-action negotiation and/or actual litigation, it is not always easy to determine what final costs may be, but we base our analysis on our general experience with such cases and the specific circumstances of your matter. If we think we need to revise our costs estimate, we will let you know.
We do not want costs to be a barrier to access to justice, we always look at ways to achieve desired results within the individual’s means. We can put a price cap on costs so that when the costs reach a certain amount, agreement is sought from you to proceed further.
We offer a first consultation meeting at a reduced fee or free of charge (depending on the circumstances) – this is either on the telephone or a face-to-face meeting. This enables us to understand your case, and for you to get to know us and understand our expertise. At the first consultation meeting, we will identify the relevant facts, identify the relevant legal issues in your particular case, advise you on your options and next steps, suggest a funding option, and advise you on the likely costs of instructing us.
There are a number of ways to pay legal fees that we offer:
- Hourly rate (or “pay as you go”) – an agreed hourly rate for a particular piece of work;
- Fixed fee – an agreed fee for a particular piece of work;
- Legal Expenses Insurance – your Insurer will pay an agreed rate (up to a maximum indemnity) towards your legal fees.
We are not able to offer Legal Aid representation.
The hourly rate of Andrew Bevan (Partner, Head of Employment Law Department) is £225.00 plus VAT. You will be provided with a costs estimate for the work and a copy of our Terms & Conditions which will be sent to you outlining in writing the hourly rate as well as the costs estimate.
In circumstances, for example advising on a contract of employment or on a Settlement Agreement, we may be able to offer you a fixed fee for this work. We will agree this fixed fee with you before we undertake the work.
Legal Expenses Insurance
Legal Expenses Insurance (“LEI”) could cover you if you are dismissed from your job or suffer some other form of detrimental treatment during your employment.
If you are an individual seeking legal representation, then you should check your insurance policies (for example, home insurance policies, car insurance policies etc…) to check whether or not you do have LEI included with this policy. LEI is usually sold as an add-on to car or house insurance, generally for a small extra premium.
If you are a business, then you may also have cover under the relevant policies that the business has.
There is always a limit to how much can be claimed under the policy – usually £25,000.00, £50,000.00 or £100,000.00. The cover is designed to offer protection if you are faced with a legal dispute. You should discuss with your Insurer what cover you have and obtain a copy of the relevant LEI policy.
If legal proceedings are commenced then you have the right to choose to instruct your own solicitor – the Insurer will often want you to use a solicitor from the “panel” of solicitors but you have the legal right to take this option down and choose your own.
We could help you make a claim for funding from your Insurer under the LEI policy – this is not always an easy or straightforward process and there are strict criteria to comply with concerning the reporting of a legal claim and the merits.
Estimate Of Costs For Unfair Dismissal Cases
Although fixed fees are offered for various stages of an Employment Tribunal claim, the overall costs (if the case does not conclude at an early stage), would be between £4,000.00 and £7,500.00 plus VAT; however, many cases are concluded prior to a full hearing, so the costs could be much lower. To ensure that you do not pay too much, you are offered fixed fees for stages of work, so that if a case concludes at that stage, you have not paid for stages which are not required.
Estimate Of Costs For A Wrongful Dismissal Case
Once again, fixed fees are offered for various stages of an Employment Tribunal claim. The overall costs (if the case does not conclude at an early stage) would be between £3,500.00 and £6,000.00 plus VAT. Many cases do conclude prior to a full hearing, so the costs could be much lower.
The above estimates do not include costs for Counsel/Barristers or other disbursements. The costs can also increase if a case becomes more complex. 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 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 you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer;
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
If we make a charge for a disbursement, such as a Counsel/Barrister’s fee, then we do so with your prior implied or express authority and we avoid making excessive charges.
The fees set out above cover all 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 a claim or response;
- Reviewing and advising on a 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 a 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/Barrister.
The stages set out above are an indication and, if some of the 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.