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Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Transparency Rules

The SRA Transparency Rules stipulate that an authorised body which publishes as part of its usual business the availability of certain services to individuals or businesses, must, in relation to those services, publish on its website cost information.  Of the services listed in the SRA Transparency Rules the only service relevant to the Firm is the provision of advice and representation to employers in relation to defending claims before the Employment Tribunal brought by an employee for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal.

The SRA Transparency Rules also stipulate that an authorised body must publish on its website details of its complaints handling procedure including, details about how and when a complaint can be made to the Legal Ombudsman and to the SRA.

The required information under the SRA Transparency Rules is set out below:

Costs Information in respect of Employment Tribunals (unfair and wrongful dismissal)

Our fees:

All Employment Tribunal cases are different – there is no such thing as a standard Employment Tribunal claim.  In our experience, a realistic range of our fees for an unfair dismissal case in an Employment Tribunal case (with no other elements to the claim such as discrimination or whistleblowing) would be between £30,000 and £100,000 broken down as follows:

Simple case: £30,000-£40,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)

Medium complexity case: £40,000-£70,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)

High complexity case: £70,000-£100,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)

Factors that could make a case more complex include:
  • 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 application;
  • Complex preliminary issues;
  • The number of witnesses and documents; and
  • If other claims are made which are linked to the dismissal (such as allegations of whistleblowing or discrimination).

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of approximately £3,000 per day (excluding VAT and disbursements). Generally, we would expect a hearing to last 1-3  days depending on the complexity of the case.

We would deploy the right level of lawyer for each Employment Tribunal case with applicable and appropriate senior supervision.  We have a range of experience in respect of Employment Tribunal matters from trainee, to one year PQE, 3 years PQE and nearly 30 years PQE.

Disbursements:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court, and counsel's, fees.  We would typically engage counsel to draft Grounds of Resistance for Employment Tribunal matters, attend any preliminary Employment Tribunal hearing and any Employment Tribunal final hearing (and to advise on statements, strategy etc.).  Their cost will vary depending on their relative experience and we would always work with clients to identify the appropriate counsel for Employment Tribunal matters.  Counsel’s costs solely for preparation and attendance at a one day Employment Tribunal unfair dismissal hearing would typically be in the range of £5,000 to £10,000.

Our fees and most disbursements we would incur in connection with Employment Tribunal litigation typically attract VAT.

Key stages:

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 where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing claim or response;
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party;
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating 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 bundle of documents;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements;
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list; and
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fees incurred will be reduced.

Complaints Procedure

In the event of your being in any way dissatisfied with the service you are receiving we would ask you initially to contact the fee earner dealing with your matter.  If this does not resolve your concerns or you are uncomfortable raising it with the fee earner responsible you should contact the relevant partner.  If you are unsure who this is or if you are uncomfortable raising it with the partner responsible we would ask you to contact the London Partner-in-Charge (John Phillips).  The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can also help you if you are concerned about our behaviour.  This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.  Making a complaint of any form will not affect how we handle your matter.

We aim to respond quickly but the person dealing with the complaint will obviously wish to discuss the matter with the relevant partner and fee earner(s) to make sure that they understand the position.  You can expect to receive an initial response within seven days of a written complaint. Our written response will:
  • Propose a timescale for our investigation into the matter, which timescale we will then seek to agree with you;
  • Contain details of the Legal Ombudsman, including its postal and web addresses (which are also set out below);
  • Explain that you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to become involved at the end of our own complaints procedure if you are unhappy with the outcome.

The person dealing with the complaint will keep a note of their investigation into the matter and will confirm, in writing, our response to your complaint.  If, following our final response you remain dissatisfied, you should contact the SRA or the Legal Ombudsman.  The Legal Ombudsman will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.  Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first.  If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint; and
  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.

Email: enquiries legalombudsman.org.uk

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

Please note that, if your complaint involves an allegation of negligence against this Firm, this will require us to inform our insurers with whom we will be required to liaise before providing any response.