We offer a professional yet personal service at competitive prices, so you can be sure to receive a great value service with peace of mind over costs. We will always provide you with clear information about the costs involved in us handling your case.
There are a range of payment options depending on your case and Howells provides services with a range of fixed fees or competitive and affordable hourly rates.
If your case is suitable and after an assessment of the case for an agreed fixed fee we believe it has good merits, we can also offer a damages based agreement (also known as ‘no win, no fee’).
To discuss your case and the payment options available to you, contact us today.
Other Funding Options
Legal Expenses Insurance
If you have Legal Expenses Insurance (many car or house contents policies include cover for different types of legal issues including employment cases) cover usually starts from the point it becomes necessary to issue a claim in the Employment Tribunal. Your insurer will refer you to a solicitor on their panel but you are entitled to choose your own solicitor. For an agreed fixed fee, we can review your case, advise on merits and seek consent from your insurers to act for you under your insurance cover. If that is approved, we will be able to assist you with your case without further cost to you subject to your case continuing to have reasonable prospects of success; or
If you have a Discrimination Claim and you have a low income, you may be entitled to free legal aid from a local legal aid provider (search here: https://find-legal-advice.justice.gov.uk/) or through Civil Legal Advice on 03453454345. Howells is not able to offer this funding
In common with all employment lawyers we are obliged to publish a guide to the fees we charge for Employment Tribunal claims for Unfair/Wrongful Dismissal
There will be a solicitor assigned to your case as the person in charge of it, even though some of the work may be done by other Howells staff who are not solicitors.
It is quite unusual to bring a claim solely for wrongful dismissal, which is dismissal without being given the correct amount of notice. If you wanted our assistance with that the likely overall cost for issuing a claim and dealing with what is likely to be a half day hearing would be £1,000+VAT.
A wrongful dismissal claim is usually brought together with an unfair dismissal claim. Our pricing brackets for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal from issuing the claim or response form up to preparing for the final hearing are as follows;
Simple case: £2,500-£5,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £4,000-£8,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £8,000-£15,000 (excluding VAT)
These fees are based on fees we have charged clients in the past.
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
- Where the other party is not represented (the Tribunal would expect the represented party to carry out more of the tasks involved in preparing the case for hearing)
- Whether there are preliminary issues to be decided, for example if the claim or response has been presented in time, or whether the person bringing the claim is an employee, worker or in fact self-employed
Making or defending a costs application
- A requirement to present medical or other expert evidence in support or defence of the claim• Complex valuation calculations such as those involving final salary pension schemes
- More than one witness for each side
- Extensive documentation
- Claims arising out of problems that have been ongoing for a long time rather than one-off events
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
We would usually instruct a barrister to represent you at final hearings and sometimes also at preliminary hearings. The likely cost is between £1,000 to £2,000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)
If an Unfair Dismissal/Wrongful Dismissal relates to capability, sickness or health, then medical evidence may be required. It is possible under GDPR for individuals to request their own medical records free of charge from their GP. If a medical report is required from a GP, this would range from £50 – £200 +VAT. Very occasionally, an expert medico-legal report is required, though this is less likely in an Unfair Dismissal claim, this can range from £1,500 – £3,000 +VAT. Other types of expert evidence can relate to pension loss or employment opportunities post-dismissal, the cost of thes reports would usually be £1,500 – £3,000+VAT. A report from a handwriting expert (e.g. if a signature is disputed) would usually cost £750+VAT.
If the Preliminary Hearing and/or Final Hearing takes place in person other than in Sheffield and we need to attend, disbursements would be incurred in the form of travel expenses and accommodation depending on the length of the hearing and its location. Howells commit to obtaining the cheapest possible rail fares to any hearing.
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)
- Preparing claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- Preparing a schedule of loss with supporting documentation
- Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing for case management only (i.e. setting dates by which all the preparatory steps in the case must be taken)
- Exchanging documents and other evidence with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Instructing a barrister to represent you at the final hearing and any necessary preliminary hearings.
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be lower. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice and assistance in relation to some key stages and tasks. This can also be arranged by individual agreement.
Howells Solicitors are able to offer a range of fixed fees, either for the conduct of the whole case, though more commonly, we can break these down into fixed fees for each section of the procedure that we have identified above.
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 1-8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 26-52 weeks for a straightforward matter requiring a one or two day hearing. 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.
Howells Solicitors ask for payment on account of our fixed fees or an agreed sum in respect of hourly paid work, at the commencement of each stage of the case.
Alternatively, Howells Solicitors can offer an initial fixed fee review of your case costing £350+VAT to assess the merits and prospects of success of your case.
Damages Based Agreement
If we consider that your case has good prospects of success we can offer a Damages Based Agreement for conduct of the Employment Tribunal case. If the claim succeeds, our fee will be a percentage of any compensation received up to 35%. We would take our fee out of any compensation awarded to you at the end of the case. This is subject to your compliance with the terms of the agreement, principally in providing Howells with all relevant information to the case and listening to and following our advice. If you act unreasonably in this regard, then we may stop acting under the Damages Based Agreement and you would be liable for our fees incurred to that point on an hourly rate basis. If we end the Damages Based Agreement early, you would be responsible for our fees and we would bill the file monthly.
Our fees will be reviewed during the life of your case, if there are unexpected developments or complexities in your case, we reserve the right to vary our fees, subject to giving you advance notice of this.
These fees quoted do not include additional work required for other claims pursued alongside Unfair Dismissal/Wrongful Dismissal for example wages or discrimination claims. Please contact us for a bespoke quote.