At Redmans our charges are open and transparent. We will always agree the funding method and estimated costs before we start work with you on your matter and we update clients on what costs have been incurred on a weekly basis – our aim is to be up-front and transparent about costs. We avoid hidden surprises and we always take on board any comments you have about our charges. Before sending you any invoice we will send you our itemised cost breakdown so that you, the client, know what you’re being charged for and so we can answer any questions that you have on your timesheet.
We weigh up your options of taking legal action as opposed to not taking legal action. This is often known as “cost benefit analysis”. The cases that we deal with are not always about recovering money or compensation. Often, keeping your job and avoiding a dismissal is far more valuable to the client than receiving a payment from the employer.
We provide reasonable cost estimates using our best judgement of the likely cost. In circumstances of pre-action negotiation and/or actual litigation it is not always easy to determine what final costs may be, but we base our analysis on our general experience with such cases and the specific circumstances of your matter. If we think we need to revise our cost estimate we will let you know.
We do not want costs to be a barrier to access to justice and we always look at ways to achieve desired results within the individual’s means. We can put a price cap on costs so that when the costs reach a certain amount, agreement is sought from you to proceed further.
Rates are normally determined by reference to the Guideline Hourly rates set by the Civil Justice Council (which can be found on this Government website).
If we make a charge for a disbursement such as barrister’s fee, postage or photocopying then we do so with your prior implied or express authority and we avoid making any excessive charges.
We offer a first consultation meeting at a reduced fee or free of charge (depending on the circumstances) – this is either on the telephone or a face-to-face meeting (it will almost always be a telephone call for first consultations). This enables us to understand your case, and for you to get to know us and understand our expertise. At the first consultation meeting we will identify the relevant facts, identify the relevant legal issues in your particular case, advise you on your options and next steps, suggest a funding option, and advise you on the likely cost of instructing Redmans.
We follow up this meeting by sending you details of what was discussed as well as a copy of our terms and conditions.
There are a number of ways to pay legal fees that Redmans offers:
- Hourly rate (or ‘pay as you go’) – an agreed hourly rate for a particular piece of work
- No win no fee (via a ‘contingency fee agreement/damages based agreement’ or a conditional fee agreement) – we don’t get paid if you don’t get a ‘win’
- Fixed fee – an agreed fee for a particular piece of work
- Legal Expense Insurance – your insurer will pay an agreed rate (up to a maximum indemnity) towards your legal fees
Redmans are not able to offer legal aid representation.
We will agree an hourly rate that the solicitor in charge of your matter will charge – the value of the hourly rate is generally between £150 plus VAT and £296 plus VAT and will depend on the seniority of the solicitor in charge of your matter, the complexity of the work involved, and the volume of work involved. A solicitor will discuss your matter with you in order to determine the complexity of your matter, judge what category of fee earner is appropriate to undertake your work (partner, senior associate solicitor or solicitor), and what hourly rate is therefore appropriate. You will be provided with a cost estimate for the work and a copy of Redmans’ terms and conditions will be sent to you outlining in writing what hourly rate is applicable as well as the cost estimate.
As the work in your matter progresses you will be sent a weekly email updating you on what costs have been incurred in your matter and sending you a cost breakdown.
The Legal Ombudsman has produced a guide of “Ten Questions to ask your lawyer about costs” – this can be found here.
No win no fee
‘No win no fee’ means just that: if you are not ‘successful’ with your claim then you will not have to pay us any fees. ‘Success’ normally means winning your Employment Tribunal claim or an agreed settlement, so normally in these types of cases we don’t get paid unless you do. We operate two types of no win no fee agreements in employment cases: 1) contingency fee agreements (also known as ‘damage based agreements’); and 2) conditional fee agreements. Contingency fee agreements are by far the most common type of no win no fee arrangement used in no win no fee agreements due to the costs regime in the employment tribunal (i.e. that both parties in litigation in the Employment Tribunal generally bears their own costs unless specific exceptions apply).
If you are successful with your claim (or if your case is settled on an agreed basis) then we will normally take an agreed percentage of any amount that is awarded by the court or under the settlement (as applicable) or, if your case is being dealt with under a conditional fee agreement, the other side will pay your costs (to be assessed if not agreed).
In certain circumstances (for example, advising on a contract of employment or on a settlement agreement) we may be able to offer you a fixed fee for this work. We will agree this fixed fee with you before we undertake the work.
Legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance (“LEI”) could cover you if you are dismissed from your job or suffer some other form of detrimental treatment during your employment.
If you are an individual seeking legal representation then you should check your insurance policies (for example, home insurance policies, car insurance policies etc.) to check whether you do have legal expenses insurance included within this policy. EI is usually sold as an add-on to car or house insurance, generally for a small extra premium. Occasionally it’s included free.
If you are a business then you may also have cover under the relevant policies that the business has.
There is always a limit to how much can be claimed under the policy – usually £25,000, £50,000 or £100,000. The cover is designed to offer protection if you’re faced with a legal dispute. You should discuss with your insurer what coverage you have and obtain a copy of the relevant LEI policy.
If legal proceedings are commenced then you have the right to choose to instruct your own solicitor – the insurer will often want you to use a solicitor from their own ‘panel’ of solicitors but you have the legal right to turn this option down and choose your own.
At Redmans we can help you make a claim for funding from your insurer under the LEI policy – this is not always an easy or straightforward process and there are strict criteria to comply with concerning the reporting of a legal claim and the merits.
Employment Tribunal claims for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal
Simple case: £5,250-£7,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £7,000-£8,750 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £8,750-£15,000 (excluding VAT)
Please note that the costing detailed above is based on the current hourly rate of a Senior Associate Solicitor (£175 plus VAT per hour).
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
- Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
- The number of witnesses and documents
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
- There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £1,400 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 2-5 days depending on the complexity of your case.
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.
If you instruct a barrister to undertake the advocacy for your hearing then we will obtain a range of quotes from Chambers so that you can make an informed decision about which barrister you wish to instruct. The fees that a barrister will charge will depend on their expertise and their experience, as well as the complexity of the case and the length of the 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)
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
- Preparing claim or response;
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party;
- 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 witnesses
- 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 Counsel
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of 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.
How long will my claim 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 26-52 weeks.
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