Pricing Transparency Statement
The Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA), under the SRA Transparency Rules, require firms subject to its regulation to publish information relating to the pricing of the following types of legal services:
• Employment tribunal claims for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal.
The below information on pricing transparency relates to work undertaken by RPC LLP, authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Employment services: unfair or wrongful dismissal claims
Our experienced lawyers support clients with employment litigation of all types and in every forum (from Employment Tribunal to Supreme Court). We only act for businesses with this type of work, and as such our policy statement is only applicable for Employers who are dealing with Employee claims. The service you will receive is always bespoke to the client, and as such no two matters are ever the same. On that basis, we will always provide an initial estimate of costs, and these will be tailored to the nature of the instruction, level of assistance required as well as the overall complexity of the matter.
Our overall fees will vary depending on how complex your case is and what you would like us to do. This note provides a guide to how we calculate our charges for unfair or wrongful dismissal work, and an indication of how much the typical case is likely to cost. For an estimate tailored to your specific matter, please contact the head of the Employment team here. We will discuss your matter and needs with you and provide you with a bespoke cost estimate.
Our charges are made up of:
- Our professional fees for the legal work, usually charged at an hourly rate
- Costs and expenses paid to others in order to progress your matter, such as fees for a barrister’s opinion or representation. We handle making these payments on your behalf during the course of your matter, either using money that you have given us in advance or invoicing them to you together with our fees. These payments are called disbursements
- VAT is charged on our professional fees at the applicable rate, which is currently 20%. Many disbursements also carry VAT, and we will inform you of the VAT on each disbursement as we go along.
Calculating our fees
The costs of an Employer defending an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim can vary according to how complex the case is. The table below sets out guideline ranges for the costs at different levels of complexity.
Complexity of matter
Fees (excluding VAT and disbursements)
Simple uncomplex cases
£30,000 – £70,000
Medium complexity cases
£65,000 – £130,000
High complexity cases
£100,000 – £1m
Factors which may impact on a case and make it likely to be more complex (and so incur more time) include:
- If it is necessary to attend a long hearing
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
- If it is necessary to defend claims that are brought by litigants in person
- If it is necessary to make or defend a costs application
- If there are complex preliminary issues, for example if the parties are in dispute as to whether the claimant has a particular disability
- If the number of witnesses and documents is high
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim, for example, where an employee is dismissed after whistleblowing
- If there are allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
Other employment law cases such as dealing with an employee settlement agreement might be much simpler and therefore cost less (and may be paid by the employer). If you are not sure what sort of case you are dealing with, please contact us and we can guide you further.
Disbursements and other expenses
In an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim the most common disbursements are for barristers’ fees. A barrister is often engaged to represent you at a tribunal hearing if your case is not settled before this time (which can often occur).
Barristers’ fees tend to be in the region of £1,500 – £7,500 (excluding VAT) for each day. The barrister will provide a more accurate estimate for your case when instructed.
Normally you do not have to pay your opponent’s costs in an employment claim, but we will guide you further if we feel that you are at risk of this at any stage.
Matter time frame
The time it takes from your initial instructions to the end of your case depends on the stage at which the case is resolved:
- If a settlement is reached during pre–claim discussions, your case is likely to take in the region of between three to six weeks.
- If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take up to twelve months. This is the target time for the employment tribunal to conclude a case, however depending on availability of the relevant tribunal it may take longer to have the case heard.
This is just an indication of possible time frames, and we will be able to give you a more accurate estimate when we have more information from you and as the case progresses.
Legal work involved in the transaction
The examples of typical costs above cover all the work in relation to the following key stages of an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal case:
- Taking your instructions, reviewing the papers, and advising you on your prospects of success in the claim and the likely compensation. This advice is likely to be revisited throughout the case and may be subject to change.
- Entering into pre–claim conciliation with ACAS where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
- Preparing your claim or response.
- Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the other party.
- Exploring settlement and negotiating a 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 bundles of documents for the final hearing.
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and cast list.
- Instructing and liaising with the barrister (if this is not being done in–house by us) for the final hearing.
- Communicating with the other parties involved and advising you upon these communications.
The stages set out above are an indication of the typical stages of a claim. However, If some of the stages are not required our charges may be less than those indicated.
Some clients may wish to attempt to handle some parts of a very straightforward matter themselves and only take our advice in relation to some of the stages, which may reduce the costs. We will discuss with you whether this approach would be viable in your case.
It would not normally be necessary to undertake other work or incur other costs other than those described above. However, we would be very happy to provide you with a more tailored quote for all stages of your particular case once we know about your specific circumstances.
Your employment claim will be handled by a trusted member of our experienced employment team. Regardless of who is working on your case the matter will be supervised by one of our partners. Full details of the experience and qualifications of our team are available here.