Pricing Policy: Employment Tribunals
Our charges are based on the time we spend dealing with the matter. They are calculated according to hourly rates which range from £120 excluding VAT for a trainee solicitor, to £201 excluding VAT for a partner.
This is our pricing policy for bringing or defending claims for:
· unfair dismissal (dismissal for an unfair reason and/or without a fair process); and/or
· wrongful dismissal (dismissal without notice or sufficient notice)
in the Employment Tribunal only.
Each claim made or defended is different and as such, the amount of work involved can vary significantly depending on (this is a non-exhaustive list):
- the legal issues involved;
- the number of witnesses;
- the amount of documentation;
- the number and length of hearings required;
- the approach taken by your opponents and the Tribunal;
- if it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim;
- defending claims that are brought by litigants in person;
- making or defending a costs / strike out / deposit / disclosure application (or any other application);
- complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties), employment status etc;
- the number of witnesses and documents;
- if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer;
- allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal;
- complex compensation issues such as pension losses;
- settlement negotiations;
- the number of claimants; and/or
- if it is necessary to appeal, or ask for a reconsideration of, any aspect of a Tribunal’s decision.
As a result, it is difficult to have a standard pricing policy. What we have tried to do, therefore is to set out below a range of costs for a case involving only allegations of wrongful and/or unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.
Examples of cases
£8,000 – £12,000 plus VAT
· Straightforward facts, issues and timeline
· Limited paperwork
· No preliminary hearings (telephone or in person)
· Only one witness on each side (with a short witness statement)
· A 1 day final hearing
Medium complexity case
£12,000 – £16,000 plus VAT
· More involved facts and issues
· Requirement for a preliminary hearing (in person or telephone)
· One or two witnesses on each side
· A final hearing of between 1-3 days
High complexity case
£16,000 plus VAT and upwards
· High value claims
· Complex legal issues such as automatic unfair dismissal (for example dismissal due to TUPE, Health and safety, whistleblowing etc.)
· Substantial amounts of paperwork or complex history of events
· Multiple witnesses or substantial witness statements
· One or a number of preliminary hearings (telephone or in person)
· A final hearing of more than 3 days
If other legal issues are involved, whether or not they are linked, such as discrimination or wages claims or where wrongful dismissal or other contractual claims are brought in a County or High Court, we would need to discuss this with you and it will fall outside of the structure above. For High Court and County Court claims court fees also apply depending on the value of the claim.
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing (whether preliminary or final hearings) of £900 – £1,600 excluding VAT per day depending on the seniority and experience of the person attending. Travel expenses and travelling time will be additional and will depend on the location of the hearing. The number of days required will depend on the number of preliminary hearings and the length of the final hearing.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Tribunal fees or barrister’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process and as such, we require disbursements to be paid on account.
We would usually instruct a barrister to represent you at final hearings, and sometimes also at any preliminary hearings. We will discuss the choice of barrister and the likely costs with you. Barrister’s fees are estimates between £800 – £2,000 excluding VAT a day depending on the experience of the advocate for preparing for and attending a Tribunal hearing, but it could be more than this for a senior barrister or where it is a complex or lengthy matter.
Other disbursements may include photocopying costs, postage and courier charges, travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change);
- entering into pre-claim conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached
- preparing the claim or response
- reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the opponent
- exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- preparing or considering a schedule of loss
- preparing for (and attending) a case management 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 a bundle of documents
- reviewing and advising on the opponent’s witness statements
- agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- preparation and attendance at final hearing, including instructions to the barrister.
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged according to your individual requirements.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 4 – 6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take between six and eighteen months, depending on its complexity and the availability of the parties and the Tribunal. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
Pricing Policy: Probate & Estate Administration
What is Probate?
Probate is a term that is often used to describe the process of administering someone’s estate after they die, collecting in their assets, paying their debts and taxes and distributing what is left over to their beneficiaries.
Where a person leaves a Will, the Probate Registry (the Court that deals with Wills and related matters) will usually issue a Grant of Probate to that person’s executors – i.e., a Court Order which allows the executors to liquidate assets and handle the administration. Where there is no Will, there is a similar process where the law specifies a family member to be an administrator whose job it is to apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Letters of Administration.
What does Probate involve?
Whatever the size and nature of a person’s estate, whether an executor is applying for a Grant of Probate or an administrator is applying for a Grant of Letters of Administration, the basic steps are the same:
- The assets of the deceased need to be identified, secured and valued.
- The deceased’s liabilities need to be identified.
- The values of both assets and liabilities need to be reported to HM Revenue & Customs.
- In some cases, inheritance tax needs to be paid.
- An application to the Probate Registry needs to be made and the application fee paid.
- Once the Grant issues, the deceased’s assets need to be liquidated or transferred to the beneficiaries, but not before the liabilities have been paid.
- Finally, all loose ends need to be tied up and accounts prepared.
Whilst there is no time limit for administering an estate, executors and administrators are under an obligation to get on with their job and to communicate with beneficiaries.
How long does Probate take?
No two estates are the same and it can be difficult to predict with certainty what the timescale will be.
Difficulties in settling the tax position with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can cause delays, as can locating lost assets or missing beneficiaries. Multiple shareholdings can be particularly tricky, especially where the deceased did not keep accurate records. Estates with foreign aspects typically take longer to administer and claims against estates can cause holdups. Sometimes delays can be foreseen – e.g., the complexity of a particular estate; at other times, delays can arise unexpectedly – e.g., the issue that arose in the Spring of 2019, where the time taken by the Probate Registry to process Probate applications increased from an average of two weeks to three months.
As a general rule of thumb, the timescales for most estates can be calculated as follows:
- 3-6 months to obtain a Grant of Probate
- 2-12 months to administer the estate
These are general guidelines only – it can be less or more depending on the size and complexity of the estate and the issues that crop up during the administration.
What are our typical fees?
Unlike some solicitors and most banks, we do not charge a percentage fee based on the value of the estate. Our fees are based on the time it takes us to do the work and we apply a system of hourly rates ranging from £120 plus VAT for paralegals and trainee solicitors to £240 plus VAT for partner-level solicitors.
You can instruct us to do as little or as much of the work as you wish.
Sometimes, we are able to offer a fixed fee for preparing a “Grant only” Probate application based on information you supply to us. This will be £1000 plus VAT for a basic Probate application, rising to £2000 plus VAT where we have to complete the more complex HMRC forms that are typically needed when inheritance tax is payable.
If you would like us to administer the estate fully – i.e., to include ascertaining all the asset and liability valuations, completing the forms and dealing with the Probate Registry and HMRC, arranging for the payment of tax, liquidating bank accounts and distributing the assets (and in some cases, managing difficult family dynamics) – our fees will typically fall into the following categories:
- £1500 to £2500 plus VAT for a straightforward estate with a handful of assets and beneficiaries
- £2500 to £5000 plus VAT for a larger estate, typically with a greater number of assets and beneficiaries
- £5000 plus VAT to £7500 plus VAT for a complex estate with inheritance tax and valuation issues, perhaps due to the existence of several properties or a family business
The costs of administering the most complex estates can exceed this. However, we will look at each estate on its merits and will always give you an individual fee estimate at the start of the matter. If unexpected issues arise, we will inform you of how our fees will be affected as soon as we can.
Our fees do not include any conveyancing work needed to deal with properties in the estate, for dealing with income tax returns or for advising on or preparing any trust documentation that may be needed. We will discuss these with you if they become relevant.
Other Costs associated with Probate
In addition to our fees, a typical estate administration also involves fees becoming payable to third parties. These are known as disbursements. Examples of disbursements are set out in the table below.
|Disbursement||Cost||Cost + VAT (if any)|
|Probate Registry fees||£155.00||£155.00|
|Extra copies of Grant of Probate||£0.50||£0.50|
|S27 Trustee Act Notice||Approximately £200.00||Approximately £240.00|
|Asset and will traces||Approximately £145.00||Approximately £174.00|
|Telegraphic transfer fee||£40.00||£48.00|
|HM Land Registry fees for copy of title||£3.00||£3.00|
|Bankruptcy search fees||£2.00 per beneficiary||£2.00 per beneficiary|
|Valuation by RICS Qualified Surveyor (typically)||£450.00||£540.00|
We charge mileage at £0.45 per mile plus VAT for travelling to meetings outside our offices and may charge for our travelling time too. Parking expenses and train tickets will also be passed on to you.
We will charge VAT at the prevailing rate (currently 20%) on our fees and on many of the disbursements we incur on your behalf.
How to instruct us to help with Probate
Gareth Parry is an experienced solicitor and is a full member of STEP (The Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners). He is a leader in his field and is ably supported by Kathryn Alsop. Please contact Gareth or Kathryn if you would like to instruct us or if you would like more information.