Employment

Any business leader wants to focus on growth and profitability, and on day-to-day operations, but sometimes employment can prove to be a real stumbling block. The increasing complexity of employment law, and the uncertainty around Brexit are already giving many employers headaches.  Employment disputes consume both time and money and can damage business reputations as well as causing uncertainty and demotivation in other employees.

At Robertsons Solicitors we offer business support and advice both proactively to ensure that employment law is being fully complied with, and reactively should something go wrong in the workplace.

Any workplace, from the smallest organisation to a vast multinational, can experience difficulties with their employees, and resolving such issues is vital to creating a healthy, sustainable business. We always opt for damage limitation, taking a proactive approach to negotiations to achieve agreements. If there are disputes, our employment law team takes pride in laying out the options available to give every business the opportunity to make informed decisions that meet commercial priorities.

Our employment work is dealt with by Chris Barber and William Baird who together have over 10 years qualified experience.

Chris Barber - Chris is head of  the employment department and qualified at Robertsons in 2011. He has gained a range of knowledge in civil & employment litigation through his career.  He undertakes his own advocacy and is often praised for the way that he handles his cases.  He has tribunal experience and works closely with William Baird in bringing cases to conclusion with the best outcome for the client.

William Baird - Williams undertook his training at Robertsons and qualified in 2020.  During his training contract he was noted to be adept at employment law matters and qualified into the civil and employment team.  William is renowned for understanding the nuance that comes from complex employment law matters.  He has followed many cases through to tribunals and works to bring the best outcome for each of his clients.

At Robertsons Solicitors, we hope that cases settle without your employee bringing the matter to the employment tribunal.  If this can be done, it means that your legal costs are lower and matters are concluded quicker.

However, if cases can’t settle, then our expert legal team will ensure that you get the best representation for defending any claim.

Settlement Agreements

If you are entering into a Settlement Agreement with an employee, our costs for providing advice and drafting the necessary document  will be around £450 - £750 + VAT depending on the complexity of the matter.

All costs shown below attract VAT at the prevailing rate of 20%.

Estimate of other costs

Within our first consultation with you, we will be able to discuss your case and the likely fees that will be incurred, depending on the complexity of it.

Simple case:                               £750 - £1,750

Medium complexity case:       £1,750 - £5,000

High complexity case:             £5,000 - £15,000

Factors that could make a case be classed as a simple case:

  • only having to deal with ACAS as the matter settles with their involvement
  • settling the case by discussions with your employee prior to any claim being made

Factors that could make a case medium or high complexity:

  • if it is necessary to defend applications or to provide information about an existing claim;
  • defending claims that are brought by litigants in person;
  • making or defending a costs application;
  • complex preliminary issues such as whether the employee is legally defined as disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
  • the number of witnesses and documents;
  • if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim, eg if the employee is dismissed after blowing the whistle on you;
  • allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

There are not usually many disbursements in employment law matters from an employer's point of view.  It depends on each case.  However, fees for a barrister are classed as disbursements.  Most disbursements will have VAT added.  Before incurring any disbursements, we shall discuss this with you and what the cost will be.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the key stages of a claim:

  • taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers & advising you on merits of the employee’s case (to be revisited throughout the matter & subject to change);
  • entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • preparing a response;
  • reviewing and advising on the claim or response from other party;
  • exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • preparation and attendance at final hearing, including instructions to the barrister.

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the 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 on your individual needs.

Additional Fees

The estimate of fees generally include all the work necessary within a employment claim. However, it does not include our attendance at the final hearing. There will generally be an additional charge for attending a hearing of £750 per day. We would allow 1 - 3 days, depending on the complexity of your case.

Barrister’s fees estimated between £1,000 and £2,500 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a tribunal hearing (including preparation).

How long will your application 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 around 4 - 6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 2 to 6 months. 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.

Our Expert Team

Our expertise is how we maintain our strong reputation as a law firm.

Meet the Employment team