The first thing you’ll want to know is how to hire a professional. After all, regrettably, there are some unscrupulous firms in the profession. You can use the Law Society’s website to find a solicitor based in your area, who offers services in the precise area of law you need and who meets the high standards in technical legal skills and client care that the Society lays down. The Law Society collects the information it supplies from the Solicitors Regulation Authority which, as the name suggests, regulates solicitors and firms in England and Wales.
Very often, the most pragmatic solution to any case is for it to be settled through negotiation before it comes to court or to an employment tribunal. This keeps costs down, shortens timescales, and ensures a solution which both parties can live with. Sometimes, though, a mutually beneficial agreement can’t be reached, and the next step is to take the case before a judge.
It’s in your best interests to ascertain whether your chosen firm has employment tribunal solicitors who have recent experience of defending cases at tribunals or in the courtroom, as this also helps maximise the chances of success. This kind of expertise is useful in framing and presenting your case and being able to anticipate how the presiding judge will deal with it.
Ability To See Both Sides
Another highly useful question to ask is whether the employment solicitors you are considering have handled cases on both sides of the relationship. In other words, do they routinely act for employees as well as employers? That might not seem important, but in fact, if they have, it gives you a huge advantage.
Lawyers who have had recent experience on both sides of the equation will be able to offer invaluable insight into the other side’s strategy. They will also be able to anticipate and address challenges and give you a balanced view of the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
A Clear Charging Structure
It’s no secret that defending or bringing a claim under the law against another party can be an expensive matter. It’s regrettable, but sometimes it’s an expense worth paying to defend your company’s reputation and to gain an outcome that’s as satisfactory as possible to all parties concerned. Even the best lawyers, though, cannot predict every twist and turn a case may take, or precisely how long it might be before you reach the outcome, so it’s rarely possible to say at the outset how much the case will cost.
But that doesn’t mean you have to commit to paying unlimited amounts for fair representation. Make sure you choose a firm that is transparent and open from the outset about how they charge for each of their services; and how and when you will be expected to pay the bill.
First Class Communication Skills
As noted, employment law is a complicated area. While you will be relying on your solicitor to address and respond to the points of law and technicalities within a specific case, it’s still important that you understand the framework.
The best employment lawyers will offer a free initial discussion, during which they will listen to you as you lay out the situation you are seeking advice on. Your solicitor should be able to explain your rights and responsibilities and the strengths and weaknesses of your case in a way you understand. They should then be able to clearly and concisely explain the aspects of the law that apply, in plain English and without resorting to jargon, so you fully comprehend the position and possible options for resolution of the matter.
Once appointed, you should expect a good firm to respond in a timely fashion to your communications and to keep you fully informed of progress as the case moves forward.
OGR Stock Denton Solicitors: Professional, Experienced Employment Lawyers For Employers
At OGR Stock Denton Solicitors, we promise all of the above and more. Employment law is one of our areas of expertise and as a firm, we have been representing businesses and individuals for over 50 years. As well as bringing many cases to a satisfactory resolution through negotiation, we also have a dedicated team who handle representation at employment tribunals or in court.
Our experience as employment law solicitors in London covers employment issues within small, medium, and large businesses across a wide range of industries. And feedback from clients suggests that our high-quality advice is always given in a way that’s clear and easily understandable.
You can see our charging scale and an indication of the likely costs involved in an employment case here on our website. And if you’d like to discuss a particular matter with one of the experts here at OGR Stock Denton Solicitors, you can call us on 020 8349 0321 today.
How much will it cost to bring a case?
Our fees for tribunal claims in unfair/wrongful dismissal range from £225 to £335 per hour plus VAT (depending on the complexity and who deals with your matter). The whole process can take around 6 months and include disbursements such as expert witness fees (£500 to £4,000 plus VAT per day), medical records (£50) and counsel fees (ranging from £125 per hour for junior barrister to £500 per hour for QC +VAT).
The total cost will depend on the amount of time incurred and the stage of the matter that is has reached. If the matter proceeds to a full hearing in the Employment Tribunal, the fees are likely to be in the region of £10,000 – £50,000 plus VAT, depending on the complexity of the matter. A full costs estimate can be provided once we have all the details of your case.
In addition, disbursements of the nature referred to above may be incurred.
[Please note all VAT is charged at the prevailing rate of 20%]
Key stages of an employment matter
We set out below an indication of the likely key stages of defending a straightforward unfair or wrongful dismissal claim. Not all stages may be required or relevant to your case. In this case fees may fall at the lower end of the ranges we have stated. Our costs set out above cover all work in relation to taking your initial instructions, reviewing the paperwork and advising you on the merits and the possible level of compensation that may be awarded against you if the claim succeeds (which may be subject to change as the matter progresses):
- Reviewing and advising on the claimant’s claim;
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation where required in order to consider whether a settlement can be reached;
- Preparing the defence/response to a claim;
- Advising on and making applications as appropriate prior to the Tribunal Hearing (e.g. application for further and better particulars where a claim form has provided insufficient detail of the allegations made, or for an unless order – where you apply for the other party’s claim or response to be struck out if it does not comply with an order made by the Tribunal);
- Considering a schedule of loss;
- Preparing for (but not attending) a Preliminary Hearing;
- Advising on the obligation to disclose all documents relevant to the claim to the other party;
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
- Drafting statement, taking and agreeing the content of witness statements;
- Preparing a bundle of documents;
- Considering and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
- Agreeing a list of issues and list of those involved; and
- Preparing for the Tribunal Hearing including instructing counsel.
The range of fees detailed above will not include the following:
- Considering and negotiating settlement throughout the process, including drafting and negotiation of a settlement agreement if negotiations are successful;
- Advising on a data subject access request (where a claimant exercises their right to request disclosure of personal information under data protection laws);
- Advising on any claim other than unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal;
- Advising in respect of a separate claim brought in conjunction with a claim for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal (e.g. discrimination); or
- Defending any related claims in the High Court.
Timescales for your employment matter
Timescales can vary enormously depending on the facts of each matter. The time it takes to bring your matter to a conclusion will be determined largely by the stage at which your case is resolved.
The mandatory pre-claim conciliation period may last for up to no more than one month and two weeks. If we reach settlement during this period then the matter should be dealt with in that time frame.
However, if the claim proceeds to a Tribunal Hearing then the length of the process will depend on several things such as the complexity of the claim, the availability of the relevant Tribunal to hear the claim and how many days the Hearing is set for. Generally, we would expect a more straightforward case to take up to six months and a more complex case to take up to nine or 12 months. However, please note that these time periods are indicative only.