We are pleased to have an initial free discussion with you 

We are pleased to have an initial free discussion with you by telephone or to respond to an initial email enquiry. 
However, if you need more advice, if your matter is complex or we need to look at documents related to your matter, then this will be subject to a charge. 
 
There is no legal aid for employment law so we are only able to act for clients who are able and willing to pay for advice. We may require a payment on account from you before commencing work. 

We will provide you with an estimate of our costs 

We will do our best to give you an accurate estimate of the costs you may incur, both at the time that you first instruct Spencer Shaw and at appropriate intervals whilst we work for you. 
 
We have provided example costs for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal below to help you understand our fees.  

Ways of paying 

The way in which the work that we do for you may be funded depends upon the type of case and our agreement with you. The following options are available: 
 
Payment by hourly rate; 
Payment by agreed fee; 
Payment by legal expenses insurance; 
Payment by contingency fee agreement or conditional fee agreement (types of no win, no fee agreement). 
 
Our current hourly rates, including VAT, are: 
 
Principal solicitor - £288, 
Consultant solicitor - £270 
Associate solicitor - £252 
 
You may be aware of some providers who offer legal advice for free, or for a small or modest cost. For example, some organisations offer to do pro bono work; this is work done voluntarily and without charge. We do not currently take on pro bono work.  
 
If you are a member of a union, you may be entitled to free legal advice. If you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be eligible for legal aid. We will advise you if we think that any of these funding methods are applicable in your case. 

Payment on account 

In some cases we will ask you to make payments in advance to cover any anticipated fees or disbursements (ie: payments made on your behalf). These advance payments are deposited into our Client Account and are governed by rules set out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority's Accounts Rules. We will pay interest on the average balance that was held for you providing the interest accrued amounts to £20 or more. Interest is calculated at the rate available on an instant access savings account from Barclays Bank. 
 
We are required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to deposit monies in instant access accounts only. This means that the interest rate paid on money in our Client Account may not be as high as you can achieve by placing the money in a savings account yourself. 

Other costs 

The cost of legal advice and representation often includes more than a charge for work done by a solicitor. Apart from our work it may be necessary to incur expenses (often called disbursements) when preparing a client’s case. For example: 
 
In a claim to an employment tribunal we may recommend the use of an expert witness; 
During a claim in the civil courts (County Court or High Court), court fees almost always have to be paid to the court at various stages of the case; 
We may recommend the use of a barrister to help with your case; to prepare a claim or defence, to give a legal opinion or to appear as your advocate at a hearing. 
 
All of these are expenses/disbursements. There may be others that are necessary for your matter and we will tell you about them separately. 
 
We will advise you of the likely amount and nature of fees and expenses that you may incur whilst we work for you and we will update that information as your case progresses. If you would like more information about costs, please don’t hesitate to ask. 

Example pricing for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal 

To help you understand the likely fees of a claim at the Employment Tribunal, the following information will give you an indication of our fees for bringing or defending claims for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal. 
 
The cost depends on several factors. The complexity of the case, the amount of evidence involved and the legal issues relating to the case. If a claim reaches a final hearing, it will go through several key stages. They are: - 
Early conciliation. This is the process by which an attempt to resolve a dispute through ACAS, before issuing proceedings, is attempted. 
Preparation and issue of a claim at an Employment Tribunal. 
Receipt and analysis of the response to the claim. 
Compliance with directions made by the Tribunal. Directions are instructions from the Judge for the proper management of the claim. They include exchange of relevant documents by and preparation of an agreed bundle of documents which will be used by the parties and by the Judge at the final hearing. Preparation and exchange of witness statements setting out the evidence that witnesses will give at the final hearing. Setting a date for the final hearing. Setting a timetable for the final hearing. 
Preliminary Hearings. Depending on the nature of the case, the Tribunal will sometimes set a case management conference to define the issues in the case and to give directions. This is known as a Preliminary Hearing and may take place at the Tribunal or by telephone. Other Preliminary Hearings may be held to determine a specific issue in a case, such as whether there is in fact a case to answer, whether part of a claim or response should be struck out or whether a claim is out of time. 
The final hearing. This is like a trial. It is where the evidence is heard and legal arguments are made. A Judge will decide the case. 
Each case has its own facts, legal issues and evidence. Many cases don’t go through the full process and are either settled or withdrawn before the case reaches the final hearing. If that happens, the cost of the case will be less than the guideline estimates below. 

Unfair dismissal costs 

As each case is individual, we are only able to give a guide to the cost of typical cases here: 
 
Simple cases tend to cost between £5,000 and £6,000. 
Complex cases will cost more. The range is about £8,000 to £10,000, particularly if more than one day is needed at the final hearing. 
Very complicated cases could exceed £10,000. These cases may involve substantial amounts of evidence or complex legal arguments. 
 
These estimates include VAT. 

Wrongful dismissal costs 

Wrongful dismissal cases tend to be simpler and require less time to complete. As a guide, a typical wrongful dismissal claim will cost about £3500 including VAT. 

Additional disbursement costs 

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. 
 
We may recommend that a professional advocate, a barrister, works with us on the claim. The barrister may be asked to prepare an opinion on a point of law, to prepare the particulars of claim (the factual and legal basis for the claim), to appear at Preliminary hearings, to represent the Claimant at the final hearing. The charge that a barrister will make depends upon several factors such as their level of expertise and the time which she or he will be involved on the claim. As a guide, the charge that a barrister may make for appearing on a client’s behalf at a hearing will be between £1,200 and £3,600 including VAT for a day’s advocacy. 

How long will a case take to resolve? 

The time that a claim of unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal will take to complete from the preliminary stages through to final hearing depends on several factors. The complexity of the case, which we referred to earlier, but also the state of the tribunal’s diary. A final hearing is fixed by the tribunal either after the claim has been issued or at a Preliminary Hearing. Our experience tells us that it will be 6 to 10 months before a claim is likely to be concluded at a final hearing in simple cases and 12 to 18 months in more complicated cases. 
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