Employment law

Constructive and unfair dismissal fees

If you've recently been unfairly dismissed from your job, or are considering a constructive dismissal claim, you need to know what it might cost in legal fees to seek justice. Here's a clear and simple outline of your potential costs when you choose Slater and Gordon to help you.

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What will a constructive or unfair dismissal claim cost?

Here at Slater and Gordon we have a firm belief in justice for all. Yet we're also aware that uncertainty over the cost of legal fees may be a factor in deciding whether or not to pursue justice when you've been subject to constructive dismissal or unfair dismissal.

It's also only fair to point out that these can sometimes be difficult cases to prove. We'll always give you our assessment of the chances of success at the outset and we'll also make our likely fees clear from the very start. With that in mind, this page comprises a brief guide to our hourly fees as well as some typical and projected costs of various actions at an employment tribunal.

Having said all of that, where your case is both justified and successful, it's common for employers to settle in advance of an employment tribunal hearing, and to pay some or all your legal fees as part of the settlement.

You may also find that your home contents insurance policy includes the option to claim for legal fees in the event of an employment dispute. If you believe your dismissal was unfair or constructive, it's always worth talking to us before you make a decision about whether or not to seek compensation.

Call us on 0161 830 9632 or contact us and we'll call you.

What's the average cost of a dismissal claim?

The cost of a claim depends on several factors, most importantly being the stage at which it settles. The majority of our cases settle early and often well in advance of an employment tribunal hearing or even before a tribunal claim has to be submitted. In these cases, the employer will usually pay some or all of the legal fees as part of the terms of settlement.

  • Simple cases start from £2,000 with average case costs of £3,000-£7,000
  • Medium complexity cases start from £3,000 with average costs of £7,000-£15,000.
  • High complexity case start from £7,000 with average costs of £15,000-£30,000.

All costs plus VAT at 20%.

Hourly rates

Our hourly rates range from £130 to £500 plus VAT depending on the complexity of your case, the experience of the lawyer and your location.

What's included?

Each case is unique and requires varying levels of support depending on your individual circumstances. We'll advise you during your initial consultation and throughout your case on what level of support is required. These are the stages that may be included, but these will vary from case to case.

  • Initial instructions, reviewing the papers, advising on the merits and likely compensation
  • Entering into ACAS early conciliation to explore if a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing a claim, reviewing and advising on response from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Preparing a schedule of loss
  • Making requests and responding to requests for additional information and documents
  • Preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing
  • Preparing documents for disclosure and reviewing the opponent's documents
  • Exchanging documents with the other party, agreeing documents and preparing documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements, agreeing their content with witnesses and reviewing/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
  • Advising throughout on strategy, strength of case and general management of the case
  • Dealing with correspondence from the opponent or their representative throughout the proceedings
  • Preparing documents and instructions for Counsel and conferences with Counsel

Can I do any of the work on my own unfair dismissal claim?

Yes, if you wish to handle the claim yourself and only ask our advice in relation to some areas, we can advise you on how to take this cost-saving measure.

What defines the complexity of an unfair dismissal case?

A case can become more complex for a number of reasons including:

  • Issues of loss such as loss of long-term incentives, pension or career
  • Where unusual orders are required, such as anonymity orders
  • Cases where a separate remedy hearing is required i.e. to work out the level of financial award to be made
  • Dismissal cases that are linked to allegations of discrimination
  • Automatic unfair dismissal claims e.g. whistleblowing cases
  • Making or defending a cost application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether a claim has been brought in time, whether the individual is an employee, and whether the case is sufficiently strong or should be struck out
  • Making or defending applications to amend claims or provide further information about existing claims
  • A long history being associated with the claim
  • Numerous witnesses being called by either side
  • Extensive documentation being relevant to the claim

How long will my case take?

This will largely depend at which stage a case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during ACAS early conciliation it's likely to take 2-6 weeks.

If a claim proceeds to a final hearing it could take 26-52 weeks, or sometimes longer depending on the particular Employment Tribunal and their caseload. We're able to give a more accurate timescale on individual cases when we've more information.

Are there any other costs involved?

To ensure the smooth running of your case we handle any necessary payments to third parties such as experts on your behalf. These payments are called disbursements, and we'll always keep you updated on them throughout your claim.

Barristers' fees range between £800 to £1,500 per day for attending a tribunal hearing, in addition to a preparation fee for final hearing – also called a Brief Fee - which varies between £1,000 to £10,000 plus VAT at 20%.

These fees are in addition to those set out above but will only usually be incurred if the case proceeds to an actual hearing.

Case studies

Unfair dismissal of social worker by Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Slater and Gordon won an unfair dismissal case for mental health social worker Graham Hennis.

Claim settled confidentially for whistleblower

Slater and Gordon settled an unfair dismissal case for a whistleblower before it went to trial.

Firearms officer wins multiple claims of race discrimination against Cleveland police

Slater and Gordon helped a firearms officer to prove his claims of race discrimination against Cleveland Police.

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