Here at DC Employment Solicitors, we pride ourselves on being completely transparent, honest and open when discussing our fees.  Each of our solicitors is allocated a basic hourly charging rate.  We can also offer fixed fee arrangements in appropriate circumstances.  In addition, we have developed a unique plan for employers that we call ‘shared risk’.

Hourly Rates

Broadly, our professional charges (excluding disbursements) are calculated by reference to the amount of time spent on your case.  Our hourly rates for employment law are dependent on the level of legal advice and service you require.  All our solicitor fees listed exclude VAT and are highly competitive.  The fees are subject to change but you will be notified in advance.

Fixed Fee

For certain matters, especially non-contentious ones, we can work with you to arrange a fixed fee.  We will endeavour to do this wherever possible, to give you certainty as to the fees involved.

Shared Risk (Risk Alignment)

We have developed what we call our ‘risk alignment’ (or shared risk) approach to charging that we make available to commercial clients and organisations such as local authorities.

We believe this to be unique insofar as employment matters are concerned.  Where we can agree on what a satisfactory outcome of a matter is likely to be (e.g. in its most simple form – where we agree that a tribunal award or settlement of £2000 or less would be a satisfactory outcome) we will be prepared to carry out the work at a discounted rate, on the basis that should we achieve the desired outcome our charge out rates will be increased by an agreed percentage.

For more information regarding this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Payment

You will be incurring charges as soon as we start work for you.  We will usually send bills to you at monthly intervals for work carried out to date, or sooner where the value of work amounts to £500 or more.  We require payment within 14 days.

Fee Transparency 

As we mention above, we have always prided ourselves on being completely transparent, honest and open when discussing our fees. This is why we are one of the very few firms who publish our hourly rates. We see little point in keeping these fees from potential clients or competitors. We have also provided below some broad estimates of the legal fees incurred in bringing a claim against an ex-employer in respect of unfair dismissal/ wrongful dismissal.

In litigation matters it is always difficult to estimate how many hours work will be required to complete any work without having full details of the matter – and even then, much will depend on how your opponent behaves and the extent of the Employment Tribunal orders and directions in any given matter. For that reason, estimates have to be fairly widely drawn. For example, we may issue proceedings on your behalf and settlement may be swiftly reached soon after. Indeed, the majority of cases settle without the necessity of a Tribunal judgment on the matter. But if we were to consider a straight-forward unfair dismissal/ wrongful dismissal matter that goes through to (and including) a final 1-day hearing, the fees are likely to be in the region of £7000 – £9,000 plus vat. This would include the following stages and estimated time-scales (subject to your instructions and the extent to which you require our involvement):

  1. issue of proceedings (1-4 weeks from instruction);
  2. preliminary hearing (2-4 months);
  3. disclosure of documents with each side sharing relevant documents (4-6 months);
  4. drafting and exchange of witness statements (4-8 months);
  5. representation at the final hearing (8-12 months); and,
  6. day-to-day management of the case.

These figures are based on a senior solicitor dealing with the matter but utilising more junior members of staff where appropriate (at the rates specified above). If a more junior solicitor is instructed the fees tend to be lower. Conversely, if a partner is instructed, the fees tend to be higher. The qualification and experience of all our team is set out in their profiles. All matters are supervised by partners.

It may be necessary for us to pay disbursements on your behalf (e.g. searches, counsel’s fees, expert witness fees). We will obtain your approval before incurring any substantial disbursements. We will normally ask for money account of disbursements before we incur them. You may wish to consider setting an upper limit on our fees and disbursements (excluding VAT) with a view to our seeking your authority before exceeding it. Please let us know if you wish to do this.

In most Employment Tribunal proceedings, each side will bear their own legal costs. Generally, the tribunal would not order one of the parties to pay the other side’s legal costs unless it believed that it had behaved unreasonably in the way it conducted the claim or defence (e.g. it considers that the claim was so weak that it should never have been presented). Nevertheless, you should be aware that while an award of costs is unlikely to be made against you in proceedings, it is not completely out of the question. Likewise, fees may be recoverable in limited circumstances.

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