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We can provide advice and assistance to both businesses and employees or former employees concerning issues arising from employment . Help can be provided in drafting and advising on contracts, compromise agreements and employment procedures. Peter Humphris (see “meet the team” ) heads this with help from Malcolm Harper (see “meet the team”).
Occasionally we are called upon to advise an employee (or former employee) or an employer about a possible claim in respect of a dismissal.We emphasise that we do not offer these services routinely and whether we can depends on the available and work-load of one fee-earner only.
For employees we would advise anyone contemplating seeking such advice or contemplating such a claim to first check whether they may get help from a union of which they are a member or if not whether legal expenses insurance is available under either household or contents insurance and whether it covers such a claim.
The figures below assume a small amount of correspondence (including emails) but limited to no more than 5 items of correspondence per step. For additional work we would charge at £240 per hour or £24 per item of correspondence. All are inclusive of vat at the rate of 20%.
We would usually charge a fee of £240 for an initial interview for either employer or employee provided the interview lasts no longer than 45 minutes.
We will then consider what has been said and paperwork left with us and write to you with our initial view of your prospects or what further information is required before we can give that view. Assuming any paperwork is limited to say 25 pages and the issues are not unduly complicated then we would anticipate costs of between £240 and £360 for this step.
There may be a need to obtain assistance from a doctor or other expert in connection with your claim. These figures vary according to what is required and the level of expertise involved. For a Gp’s report we would expect a fee of £75- £100 (no vat) whilst for a consultant you could expect fees of between £500 to £1500 (no vat but such may be payable)
For preparing a claim form or a response to a claim to be heard in Southampton Employment Tribunal only, getting your approval and filing and serving the same we would estimate costs in the region of £720 to £1440 depending on the complexity of the matter but including a schedule of loss or a response to the same . Complexity could arise over issues as regards other claims such as a discrimination claim or where there is a lot of papers to consider.
We would usually not be involved in any compulsory conciliation efforts by ACAS
If the claim proceeds there will usually be a preliminary directions hearing usually by telephone and a form to fill in preparation for the same. We would anticipate costs of £360 for this step.
The Tribunal will usually say that the parties have to make disclosure of all relevant documents including emails (except those protected by legal privilege) and a list be produced of such. Obviously an employer will have more to disclose than an employee and our costs would vary according to how many potential documents we have to check through and list. Based on two hours of work needed then we would estimate costs of £480.
Witness statements will be required to be produced and served and witnesses interviewed. How much the costs will be depends on the extent of the evidence to be covered and the number of witnesses involved . We would estimate costs of £720 per statement on the basis of a statement no longer than 6 pages long.
The employer would be required to produce bundles of all relevant documents and serve copies on the employee as well as producing copies to be taken to tribunal. If we are required to undertake that assuming paperwork not exceeding 50 pages and two hours’ work that would be a cost of about £480.
For representation at Tribunal for the final hearing of the claim and assuming the matter is listed for no more than a day and is not complex we would estimate that the costs involved either through ourselves acting or through a barrister (who has been qualified less than 10 years and not a QC) and limited to only requiring three hours preparation to incur a fee of between £1800 (inclusive of vat at 20%) and £3000 (inclusive of vat at 20%) dependant on the level of representation required, the documentation involved and the complexity of the issues involved with the simpler matters at the lower end of the scale and the more complex at the top end. These figures are based on the assumption that we have been involved throughout the case .
For hearings listing to last more than a day we would need to provide you with a more detailed estimate when the matter is listed.
For preliminary hearings listed on telephone or at Southampton and requiring attendance at tribunal for less than one and a half hours (and requiring preparation of an hour or less) we would estimate costs of about £600 inclusive of vat at 20%.
From the taking of initial instructions until the conclusion of a tribunal hearing we would estimate a timescale of between 6 to 12 months.
Whether we can act
However please note that there may be circumstances where we are unable to take instructions or act further such as where you are unable to make payments to us to in advance (which we would require in cases of this nature) , where we do not have the capacity in the office to do the work properly , the matter turns out to more complex or difficult for us to deal with or , having done the checks we are required to carry out there is a problem such as a conflict between you and another client.