employment law costs

Our fees for employment work are based on the time spent for a particular piece of work.

Ian Pearson undertakes employment work and charges £250 per hour plus VAT. 

The following are an indication of what particular matters are likely to cost and the likely time scales involved. These are primarily employee costs. Please note all costs are ex-VAT:

Get in touch if you wish to instruct us on your matter

General advice. This would include taking instructions, meetings or telephone calls to discuss a matter, writing letters to employers or other solicitors, negotiation etc.Any new matter with any degree of complexity will take at least an hour to take instructions. Normally, we would ask for two hours on account of costs. Work is usually undertaken within 48 hours.£225 – £450
Advising on potential unfair or constructive dismissal.Depending on the amount of documentation and complexity of matter, then a review will take up to two hours.£225 – £450
Advising on restrictive covenants.Normally, an answer can be given within an hour. Unless complicated or a detailed written report is required.£225
Discrimination advice.An initial review is likely to take an hour. Thereafter on an hour by hour basis.£225
Raising a grievance.This often requires a couple of hours work, not only to identify the issues but to consider the remedy sought.£350 – £550
Advising on disciplinary matters.A brief review of the situation and advice on how to handle meetings is about an hour.£225
Appeals from disciplinary and grievance matters.These are often technical documents and can take up to three hours. Up to £675
Advising on potential claim.This is usually at a meeting and can take up to two hours.£225 – £450
Letter to employer.Rather than just identifying the issue, normally letters are detailed and seek to provide some sort of remedy. Often this provokes a response and possibly negotiation. The initial letter can take up to two hours to produce.Up to £450
Advice on ACAS early conciliation.This will need to be completed by the employee but advice usually takes half an hour.£115
Reading into case.Most cases will involve a degree of detailed reading. Depending on the volume a usual case will involve perhaps 25 – 50 pages. An hour and a half will give these documents a first read through.£350
Preparing an ET1. This is the claim you will bring.A relatively straight forward case will involve two the three hours drafting.£450 – £700
TOTAL STAGE ONEThe stage up to issuing proceedings usually takes between seven and ten hours.

£1,500 – 



Case management conferenceAssuming by phone then one hour.£225
Drafting a list of documents.On average an hour’s work£225
Review other side’s list of documents and reading those documents.Dependent on the volume but often between one and two hours.£225 – £450
Meeting to discuss evidence and to take a witness statement.Usually a couple of hours.£450
Drafting witness statements.Dependant on how many witnesses and detail required, but rarely less than a couple of hours per statement.£450
Speaking to the other side.It is normal to have conversations with the other side’s solicitors. This may result in a negotiated settlement. One or two hours may be spent in this activity.£225 – £450
Preparing for the hearing.Either this will be preparation for the hearing or drafting instructions to Counsel. This can take between two and three hours.£450 – £700
Instructing counsel.If a specialist barrister is instructed a meeting will normally take place.£225
TOTAL STAGE TWOThis is when most of the work is undertaken. The tribunal wants all cases to be properly prepared although this is sometimes conflicts with the timetable of the parties, especially if it is likely the matter will settle. Ten to fifteen hours would be a norm.

£2,250 – 


One day hearing.The court day is 10.00am to 4.00pm with a one hour lunch break. It would be usual to arrive an hour early and to debrief after. This is therefore an eight hour day.£1,800
More complicated mattersMany hearings last more than one day, especially if the matter is complex or there are a number of witnesses. Day rate.£1,800
TOTAL FOR COMPLETE HEARINGThe most simple of cases will take approximately 25 hours.£5,500
More complex matters.A more complicated matter with a two day hearing and may take 40 hours preparation and need the services of a barrister. A barrister may cost £1,500 – £3,000 a day, together with his preparation time.

£10,000 – 


Most wrongful claims are constructive dismissal claims. Wrongful dismissal hearings may follow a similar schedule as above, especially if the wrongful dismissal claim becomes an unfair dismissal claim, which is not uncommon.

Tribunal hearings tend to take place between four and seven months after the issue of proceedings. However, with a three month time period to bring a claim, a one month ACAS consultation and the Tribunal timetable, a hearing could take place nearly a year after the event.

Compensation in the tribunal is two-fold and limited at the same time:

Basic award at a maximum of approximately £500 per year worked (x1.5 if over 41) – maximum 20 years.
Compensatory award of actual loss. Therefore, if you get a job then you will have ‘mitigated’ your loss.

With the above in mind, care must be taken to only issue if the benefits outweigh the potential costs.

There is no Legal Aid available for employment matters and we do not undertake no win no fee work.

In addition, it is unlikely that you will recover your costs. Unlike the civil courts, Tribunals are reticent in awarding costs unless the parties have been unreasonable or not followed procedure.

These are legally binding agreements used to settle employment disputes. They may follow from a disciplinary matter or a grievance. They are usually prepared by the employer and it is usually the case that the employer pays for the advice.


Advising on a settlement agreement.With the background work required in opening a file, taking instructions, giving the advice on the agreement itself and post-advice work, this process is rarely less than one and a half hours work and could run to two and a half.£350 – £550
Additional advice on a settlement agreement.On occasion, the facts surrounding the settlement agreement may suggest there has been an unfair dismissal. in this case the fees as above may apply.£225 – 450
Drafting a settlement agreement. £350 – £500

Clients can limit the amount of time spent on any particular activity by careful preparation, producing a chronology and summary of events, putting together a bundle of relevant documents, weeding out repeats of e-mails etc. Thinking about what end result is required is also important as it is easier to work towards a specific goal rather than trust an employer or the Tribunal to do so for you.

Every attempt is made to turn around work within 48 hours where initial advice is required. For document drafting a week may be required.



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