We help resolve all sorts of employment law and HR issues for our clients, delivering practical and commercial solutions which free them up so they can get back down to business.  

From a quick query to strategic employment advice or employment litigation, we can help.  

We have over 17 years’ experience of providing expert employment law advice to employers including charities, sole traders, private and public limited companies, partnerships, unincorporated associations and local authorities.  As a result, we have specialist expertise across a range of sectors including: 

  • Retail & Leisure

  • Energy

  • Life sciences

  • Real estate

  • Public sector

  • Professional services

  • Technology & Telecoms

  • Engineering & Manufacturing

  • Digital, Creative & Media

  • Sport


We provide expert advice on all aspects of the employment relationship including:

  • Disciplinary & grievance matters

  • Settlement agreements

  • Employment contracts/service agreements

  • Consultancy agreements

  • Performance management

  • Employee incentives

  • Data protection

  • Minimum wage & pay issues

  • Restrictive covenants

  • Whistleblowing

  • Changing terms & conditions

  • Workplace discrimination

  • Termination of employment

  • Unfair/constructive/wrongful dismissal

  • Bullying & stress at work

  • Sickness & absence management

  • Family related rights

  • Holiday pay issues

  • M&A, outsourcing & TUPE

  • Restructuring & redundancy

  • HR policies & procedures

  • Employment Tribunal claims

 

We also provide employers with training on various employment law and related topics and provide regular updates on key developments in the ever changing employment law landscape.


Defending Employment Tribunal claims

If you have received an employment-related claim, you can rely on us to provide clear advice from the start - on your prospects of successfully defending the claim, the likely exposure to compensation if the claim were to succeed, the likely costs and risks if you proceed and any tactical considerations. Where settlement is a possibility, we will use our experience to negotiate the best possible terms.  A large number of the cases we handle are resolved to our clients’ satisfaction without the need for an Employment Tribunal hearing.

Where litigation is necessary, we have the expertise to conduct Employment Tribunal advocacy ourselves. We will fight your corner robustly and effectively and have a high success rate. We always seek to keep our costs proportionate to the potential financial compensation available. Our experience representing both employers and employees positions us to provide the best strategic advice to our employer clients because we can better anticipate the claimant’s next moves.

Our skills in dealing with Employment Tribunal cases were independently recognised by leading legal directory, the Legal 500 UK in its 2014 edition in which our Managing Partner, James Moss, was “recommended, for contentious work, and is noted for his ‘expert knowledge’ and ‘robust representation’”.

Fees

Our pricing for defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal:

Simple case: £6,000-£8,000 plus VAT

Medium complexity case: £8,000-£12,000 plus VAT

High complexity case: £12,000-£15,000 plus VAT

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • if it is necessary to make applications to amend any response or provide further information about an existing claim;

  • defending claims that are brought by litigants in person;

  • defending claims that are brought against more than one potential employer;

  • making or defending a costs application;

  • complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties), who is the correct employer or whether the claim was submitted in time;

  • the number of witnesses and documents;

  • if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim; and

  • allegations of discrimination and/or whistleblowing.

Our fees may increase or decrease as your case progresses. For example, if there are unforeseen complexities which mean we need to do additional work, our fees are likely to increase. We’ll discuss any fee increase with you in advance, providing you with a revised fee estimate.

Generally, we would allow 1-2 days for a simple case; 2-4 days for a medium complexity case and 5 days or more for a complex case.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees or a barrister’s fees. We normally handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process although we may require payment from you in advance of paying them. We will speak to you before we incur any disbursements and agree the cost with you in advance.

Barrister’s fees are estimated between £750-£3,500 per day (depending on the experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation), although these could be significantly higher if, for example, you need a very senior barrister (known as a ‘QC’).

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a defence to an unfair or wrongful dismissal 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 can be subject to change if new facts come to light);

  • entering into ‘pre-claim conciliation’ where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;

  • preparing and submitting the response and any counter-claim;

  • reviewing and advising on claim from other party;

  • exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;

  • considering any schedule of loss and preparing a counter-schedule of loss;

  • preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing;

  • exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;

  • reviewing the other party’s documents and confirming whether they change our assessment of the claim and / or its value;

  • taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;

  • preparing the 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 for final hearing, including instructions to counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication of the typical stages involved in a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal. 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 be arranged according to your individual needs.

You may have other funding options. If you have legal expenses insurance, your insurers may agree to fund all or part of your legal fees. We can discuss the full range of options when we take your initial instructions.

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, the matter is likely to take 4-8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, the case is likely to take 6-12 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. As a general rule, the longer the case is estimated to last, the longer it will take to get a hearing date. It is also the case that Employment Tribunals are experiencing some significant delays at the moment which could mean it will take in excess of 12 months for a claim to be resolved.


Contact us

We love what we do and would be happy to talk to you about how we can make employment law work for you.  Call us on 01633 892438, email us at: info@slatelegal.co.uk or complete our enquiry form below and we'll get back to you asap.

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