This page introduces you to the lawyers who will be working for you on employment matters here at Waterfront, before explaining the basis for our charges.
Our employment team
Anthony Purvis is a partner and Head of Employment. He qualified as a solicitor in 2008 and has nearly 10 years’ experience in the field. You can read more about him here.
Matthew Hodson is an associate solicitor who qualified as a solicitor in 2015 having worked in employment law since 2011. His profile is here.
Thalya Merican is a trainee solicitor and Charlotte Lang is a paralegal.
Together our team has more than 15 years of experience of advising clients on the complexities of employment law. We are proud of having achieved great results for clients. In fact a lot of our new clients come to us thanks to referrals from existing clients, which for us is the ultimate sign of a job well done.
At the end of a recent piece of work, one client wrote to say of one of our lawyers:
“He went above and beyond his duties. He was extremely thorough, knowledgeable and provided sound legal advice whilst being supportive. He was also able to negotiate better terms for me.”
At Waterfront we offer practical and commercial advice to both businesses and individuals on a wide range of matters including redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissal, discrimination, grievances and disciplinary matters, TUPE, staff handbooks, employment contracts, post-termination restrictions and their enforcement, settlement agreements and the employment aspects of corporate transactions.
We usually charge on the basis of hourly rates.
Our standard rate for partners in the employment team is £335 plus VAT per hour. For associate solicitors in the team we charge between £265 and £295 plus VAT per hour. For trainees it’s £185 plus VAT and £105 plus VAT for paralegals.
However, the hourly rates provide only part of the picture when it comes to cost.
In some cases we can agree fixed or capped fees depending on the work involved, particularly in relation to non-contentious matters such as employment contracts, staff handbooks and commission schemes.
If you are an employee (or ex-employee) we may be able to represent you at no upfront cost to yourself if you have legal expenses insurance or we agree to represent you on the basis of a “no win, no fee” arrangement. More details are set out below.
How much will it cost to bring or defend a claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal?
If you ask us to act for you, we will discuss costs in more detail once we know more about your case. Experience tells us that some matters can be resolved in just a few hours, whilst others can take many months.
However an idea of the costs associated with a claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal is set out below.
Consulting an experienced employment solicitor will help you to avoid making costly mistakes. With our wealth of experience, we can help you understand the true value of a claim, together with its strengths and weaknesses and help you with the tactics required to get the right result.
The claim process is often preceded by letters between the parties or their lawyers, known as “pre-action correspondence”. The cost of this stage depends on the complexity of the matter but typically costs between £500 plus VAT and £2,500 plus VAT. Sometimes a resolution can be reached at this early stage, meaning there is no need for further costs to be incurred.
If the matter proceeds to an Employment Tribunal claim an estimate of our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal is as follows:
Simple case: £5,000 to £10,000 (plus VAT)
Medium complexity case: £10,000 to £15,000 (plus VAT)
High complexity case: £15,000 to £25,000 (plus VAT)
You can see what the above costs cover under the heading “Key Stages” below.
What makes a case more complex than others?
No two cases are the same. However, these factors usually add to the complexity:
If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
Defending claims (or dealing with defences to claims) which are brought by litigants in person.
Making or defending a costs application.
Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if the point is in dispute).
A requirement for expert evidence.
The number of witnesses and documents.
Associated or related claims of unlawful discrimination, whistleblowing or bonus/commission disputes.
In addition to the fees set out above, it may be necessary for you to incur third party costs, known as disbursements. They include court fees, the fees of an expert witness and the fees of a barrister to represent you at a hearing. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
If it’s appropriate to use a barrister to represent you at a tribunal hearing, you can expect their fee to be around £750 plus VAT to £1,500 plus VAT per day, depending on the experience of the barrister and the complexity of the case.
Barristers usually charge a higher fee to represent you at the first day of a hearing as it includes the time they spend reading through your case and preparing for the entire hearing. This is known as the “brief fee”. They usually charge a lower fee for the following days of the hearing and this is called a “refresher”.
The estimate of our fees set out above covers 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 the merits of the case and likely compensation.
Entering into pre-claim conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
Preparing the claim or the response to the claim.
Reviewing and advising on the claim or the response.
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 the witnesses.
Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
Preparing and attending a final hearing, including preparing instructs to a barrister.
The stages set out above are an indication only and if some of stages 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. Sometimes it will be appropriate to use our junior lawyers for some parts of your claim, which may mean a reduced fee.
Can you represent me on a “no win, no fee basis”?
Yes, in some cases were are able to represent claimants on this basis.
Known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, we can agree to represent you for no upfront cost but in return you agree that we can keep 35% of any compensation or settlement we recover for you. However, this type of arrangement is not suitable for some cases or it may not be the right option for some clients, so we will always discuss the pros and cons with you first.
Can insurance cover my legal costs?
If you are a claimant you may have legal expenses insurance as part of your home contents or buildings insurance. Sometimes we can act for you with your insurer meeting the cost. If you think you have insurance, please contact one of the team.
Can I get my legal costs back from the other side if I win?
The usual rule in the Employment Tribunal is that both parties pay their own legal costs, win or lose. However there are some exceptions to this rule and we will discuss these with you when advising on your case.
How do you charge me if I have a settlement agreement?
If you are an individual, the norm is that your employer will cover the cost of you taking legal advice on a settlement agreement. For more information on settlement agreements, please see our article of the 11 key questions you should ask here.
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 4-8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 6-12 months to resolve. 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.
For specialist employment law advice, please do not hesitate to call us. We are happy to have a free no obligation discussion over the phone to see how we can help and to discuss the options available to you.
If you would like to get in touch with our employment team, please contact us on 020 7234 0200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Partner, Employment Law
Anthony offers succinct and practical advice to both businesses and individuals on various issues including redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissals claims, unlawful discrimination, grievance and disciplinary procedures, TUPE, staff handbooks, contracts of employment, restrictive covenants and their enforcement, settlement agreements and the employment aspects of corporate reorganisations or sales. Read more...
Associate, Employment Law
Matthew handles all types of employment matters. He represents and advises employees and employers on issues involving whistleblowing, discrimination, redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, Working Time Regulations, restrictive covenants and settlement agreements. Read more...