employment law

Our experienced team of Employment Law solicitors are able to assist both Employers and Employees on a range of Employment matters and when resolution cannot be reached we provide advice and support at all stages of the Employment Tribunal process through to representation at Tribunal hearings.

Funding:

Before any instruction in relation to an employment law dispute, be it by an employer or employee, funding is the first issue to consider.

Luckily, there are different ways at Meikles that we offer for you to make payment. In Employment law, costs are very rarely recoverable so the choice of funding is a very important choice indeed.

At Meikles, we offer a free initial consultation. This allows you to explain what your issue is and allow for us to consider what advice is required. In some instances you may have a great deal of information to go through and a full appointment will be required. This is usually capped (depending on the amount of paperwork you require your advisor to consider prior to advice being given) at £150+VAT. This charge is based on our competitive hourly rates. This involves a one hour consultation and preparation. Thereafter you will receive written confirmation of the advice you received and instructions provided.

If your matter is likely not to resolve over the course of one meeting, we provide to you, in writing, a breakdown of our competitive hourly rates and an approximation of the length of time this will likely take to resolve. We of course monitor costs in terms of proportionality to avoid costs being incurred that are in excess of the remedy sought.

In most aspects of drafting contracts, issuing or defending an employment claim, we are able to offer fixed fees. These are quoted to you before any formal instruction and are highly competitive.

Such fixed feeds are offered in connection with the following non-exhaustive list:

  • Drafting employment contracts
  • Drafting disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • Advising of implementing and following of other prescribed ACAS procedures
  • Assistance in issues arising from discrimination or whistle-blowing
  • Preparation of Settlement Agreements

Insurance Funding:

Many people are often unaware of their home insurance (or other types of cover) cover and that it sometimes can include legal expenses cover. The household you live within may have a policy that you are covered under even if you don’t have your own. It is imperative that you check your policy. Often legal expenses cover costs sometimes as little as £20.00 per annum. If you don’t have legal expenses cover, you really should. Unfortunately in most circumstances you are not able to take this out after the event of your employment dispute. If you have cover, please CONTACT OUR FIRM FIRST before contacting your insurers. Sadly it is often the case that clients experience their insurers selecting their representatives for them. In most cases, you are entitled to be represented by a Solicitor of your choice. At Meikles, we are regularly appointed by insurance companies at the request of our clients, to represent them. In this instance, whether your case is successful or not (provided that you do not act unreasonable or advance/defence a case that is vexatious) you will not be liable for our fees.

Damages Based Agreements

In certain cases we offer Damage Based Agreements to our clients in acting for them in their case. This is quite rare and only offered on the basis the claim is likely to succeed and it is of proportionate value to our likely fees. In these circumstances there may be an initial fee payable for us to consider the case as a whole to establish prospects of success. If your claim is unsuccessful, you do not pay our fees. If your case is successful we reserve the right to recover up to 25% plus VAT of any compensation you receive. This is of compensate the risk involved in us not recovering our fees.

Settlement Agreements:

Settlement Agreements are unique in terms of funding. If you are the receiver of the agreement, your employer will make a contribution towards your legal costs and in most cases, satisfies the amount required so you don’t have to pay us anything. If there are negotiations or redrafts requirement of the agreement, you may incur the cost of doing so. In some instances we seek to persuade your employer to bear the increase in costs and this is often acceptable.

If the matter becomes protracted and requires substantial time to resolve, we revert to our hourly rate regime as above. As always, we bear proportionality in mind when it comes to our fees and your settlement figure.

For employers, we offer a fixed fee for the preparation of the agreement and the offering/ratifying of said agreement.

Issuing or defending a claim:

Once funding has been resolved, we are able to offer advice and representation for any claims of unfair dismissal, wrongful discrimination, discrimination cases and whistleblowing cases, to name a few.

In employment law it is very difficult to approximate the likely costs that you will incur as each case is priced on its complexity and likely bundle (the evidence the tribunal will eventually be provided with) size.

By way of guidance, our average approximated feeds for each case is as follows:

  1. Non-Complex case with low witnesses/bundle size - £4,000 - £7,500 +VAT
  2. Medium Complexity case - £7,500 - £15,000 + VAT
  3. Complex case £15,000+

The above figures can increase also depending on the length of the final hearing, this is often not set until a preliminary hearing is held in your case.

Other aspects of your case that could increase cost are:

  1. Increased amount of witnesses
  2. Increased size of bundle
  3. Jurisdictional Arguments
  4. Disability Impact Statements/Disability fact-finding hearings
  5. Legal arguments pertaining to disclosure (such as litigation privilege)

There is also the issue of disbursements to consider. This could be for the obtaining of medical reports for reasons linked to remedy. This could also be the instructing of a barrister to act for you in your case. We always obtain a quote from the barrister’s chambers directly and provide this to you. We are responsible for obtaining payment from you to then pay Counsel on your behalf.

Timetable of the average employment case and how fees are incurred:

  1. Taking your proof of evidence. This is a document used to ensure that we are clear on what your claim(s) may be.
  2. Advising on prospects of success/defence of your claim.
  3. Drafting of pleadings and schedule of loss.
  4. Completing ET1/ET3 form.
  5. Engaging with ACAS for early conciliation or settlement at any stage of your claim
  6. Consideration of COT3/Drafting of COT3 agreements.
  7. Consideration/Preparation of grounds of resistance
  8. Consideration of documents for disclosure and preparation of the disclosure list
  9. Drafting of witness statements
  10. Preparation of the bundle/Consideration of the bundle
  11. Attending preliminary hearings and final hearings
  12. Adhering to other Case Management Orders (CMOs) set by the Tribunal
  13. Consideration of appeals

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meet our employment lawyers

Stephen Hamill
Partner
Head of Department

Stephen qualified as a Solicitor in 2014 and joined the firm in 2015...

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Beth Donaldson
Trainee Solicitor

Beth commenced her Training Contract in July 2019 after completing her Law...

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We can assist and advise in respect of a range of issues including:-

  • Settlement Agreements
  • Contractual Rights
  • Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures
  • Discrimination and harassment
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Redundancy; and
  • Protection of Employment upon Transfer of a business
  • We also welcome any other Employment related enquiries you may have.

Meikles is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (number  OC38797O)
Registered office 2 Clyde Terrace, Spennymoor, County Durham DL16 7SE. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA number 620405
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