“Outstanding” and “a genuine class act”, our employment law team “provide superb service”, “understand the realities facing clients, and give practical advice.”

Find out how we can help

"They are knowledgeable in the field, commercially minded and they're keen to get results."

Chambers UK, 2019

Our employment  solicitors act for a broad range of employers including entrepreneurial start-ups, well established public companies and professional services firms.


We also focus our practice on representing senior executives and board directors, LLP members and partners, entrepreneurs, and high profile public figures.

We help employers to protect their business interests – including their client base, confidential information and professional reputation – achieve their commercial objectives and manage their workforce effectively.

We assist our senior executive clients to understand their legal rights and duties, and to maximise their financial entitlements. We put them in the strongest possible position to enforce those rights successfully, whether through negotiation, mediation or litigation.

We support our clients every step of the way. This will allow you to concentrate on running your business, or drawing a line under any employment or partnership dispute and moving forward with your professional reputation and career on track, safe in the knowledge that we will remove as much of the pressure from you as possible. We know what it takes to achieve the best possible result for you or your business, taking into account your goals and priorities. 

Our employment lawyers specialise in complex employment and partnership matters with high stakes. We explain the legal implications of employment and partnership issues clearly and concisely. Drawing on many years of experience, and our commercial and strategic expertise, we help our clients to resolve sensitive disputes creatively, and deliver results in line with their commercial or personal objectives. 

Our clients' best interests drive everything that we do.  We build long-lasting client relationships and always put our clients first.  

Whilst we are employment specialists, we regularly build cross departmental teams to deliver a seamless client service, for example in matters that require the involvement of Kingsley Napley’s immigration, corporate/commercial, criminal and regulatory teams.  

"They are an outstanding firm and provide superb service; they are a genuine class act."

Chambers UK 2016



Our advice and service are bespoke. Our goal is to exceed your expectations. We will actively engage with you or your business about the employment issues that are important to you. We will provide you with guidance, leadership and reassurance. We will become trusted advisors on whom you can rely for sound, practical commercial advice. We will listen to what’s important to you and ensure we understand your priorities and business.

Our rigorous approach enables us to get to the heart of complex issues quickly, without becoming side tracked by irrelevant issues.  We develop working relationship built on trust and provide our clients with support every step of the way, sometimes during difficult times. We fight our clients’ corner robustly, yet retain a professional emotional detachment from the situation, which enables us to remain focused on achieving the most positive outcome for you or your business.


Employment law updates

We produce monthly Employment Heads Up e-bulletins and regularly host seminars to keep you posted on the latest employment law developments and cases. Click on the following link to subscribe to receive these. 


What the directories have said

"The ‘knowledgeable’ group at Kingsley Napley LLP primarily represents senior executives in high-value litigation."

Legal 500 UK

"They are very pragmatic and understand the commercial issues that we face. They understand our attitude to risk and act appropriately."

Chambers UK 2017, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession

"There is a near seamless transition which demonstrates a high level of communication between themselves and how well organised they are behind the scenes. They always ensure that we feel supported, that we have understood a situation and that we know how to proceed."

Chambers UK 2017, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession

"They understand the realities facing their clients, and the advice they give is practical."

Chambers UK 2016, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"On the employer side, the firm focuses on the professional and financial services sectors. The ‘extremely well-regarded’ Richard Fox leads the practice."

Legal 500 UK 2016

Our fees

Most of our services are offered on an hourly rate basis and as many of our clients’ matters are complex and often involve multiple parties, there is rarely a typical case. Our clients are given an estimate of costs after our initial meeting or as part of the engagement process. There are some areas where we are able to be more indicative and, as in accordance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) guidance on price transparency, we have published our price and service information where it is possible to be upfront about charges without knowing all the details of the matter.

Our Employment Team acts for a broad range of employer and employee clients.  Their employer clients include entrepreneurial start-ups, established companies and professional services firms.  We also represent senior executives and board directors, LLP members and partners, entrepreneurs and high profile public figures. 

Whether our clients are employers or employees we help them to understand their legal rights and duties and achieve the best possible outcome.

We are highly ranked in both Chambers and Legal 500. 

We have 10 team members who might work on your matter; a trainee solicitor and nine qualified lawyers.  In February 2019 a further one year qualified lawyer will join us.

Key members of the team include:

Employment tribunal claims

The services we provide include both pursuing and defending employment tribunal claims and appeals.  Most of the claims in which we act are complex claims involving not only claims of unfair and wrongful dismissal but also whistleblowing, discrimination, equal pay or other claims.  Whilst we do straightforward claims from time to time it is always necessary to weigh up whether the potential outcome of the matter can justify the costs involved. 

Key stages

The key stages of a claim which are covered within our normal fees are as follows:

  1. 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)
  2. Entering into Early conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  3. Preparing claim or response
  4. Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
  5. Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  6. Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  7. Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
  8. Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  9. Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  10. Preparing bundle of documents
  11. Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
  12. Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  13. Preparation and attendance at trial including any separate hearing to determine compensation, including instructions to Counsel

The key stages set out above are an indication. If some of stages are not required, the fee will be lower. 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 in accordance with your individual needs. 

If there are additional stages the costs will be higher.  Additional stages include:

  • Making or responding to additional applications, for example applications for specific disclosure, to strike out a claim, to seek additional time to take a step in the process, to seek an unless order to compel the other side to complete a step in the process.
  • Joining additional parties or dealing with additional parties.
  • Amending pleadings.
  • Dealing with appeals

There is some work we do not do.

  • We advise on employment but not on tax or pensions. If you need specific advice on these matters we can arrange for you to receive this from other specialists in these fields. 
  • When advocacy is required we generally instruct counsel save for some preliminary hearings which we conduct ourselves.

The basis of our charges

We generally base our fees on hourly rates although on some work we are able to offer fixed fees.  The current members of our team and their hourly rates are as follows:

  • Richard Fox - £525
  • Adrian Crawford - £525
  • Adam Lambert - £525
  • Andreas White - £500
  • Kirsty Churm - £395
  • Lisa Judd - £395
  • Liza Knight - £395
  • Moira Campbell - £360
  • Francesca Lopez - £340
  • Another qualified solicitor* - £230
  • Trainee solicitor - £185
  • Paralegal - £175-190

*We have a one year qualified solicitor due to start with us in February 2019

These hourly rates do not include VAT (currently at 20%).

Disbursements are payable In addition to these charges.  Disbursements are amounts we pay to third parties for expenses such as travel costs and counsel’s fees.


Every case is different and many of our cases are complex and involve multiple parties and claims and difficult legal issues. There is no such thing as a typical case.  However, for convenience we have divided employment tribunal claims into three bands according to complexity.

An employment tribunal claim involving only claims of unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal will normally, but not always be a simple claim.

Factors that make cases more complex

  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if an employee is dismissed after making a public interest disclosure (blowing the whistle on the employer).
  • If there are allegations of discrimination or other claims which are linked to the dismissal.
  • If there are multiple claimants or respondents to the claim.
  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties) or whether the tribunal is able to hear the claim due to jurisdictional or time limit issues.
  • The number of witnesses and documents.  If there is a large volume of documents it may be necessary to use e-disclosure software to manage the process.
  • Evidence of expert witnesses including experts’ reports.
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person.
  • Making or defending a costs application.

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

  • Simple case: £30,000-£60,000 (excluding VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £50,000-£120,000 (excluding VAT)
  • High complexity case: £100,000-£250,000 (excluding VAT)

These figures are all based on the case continuing through to trial.  In reality most cases are resolved before trial.

Cases of medium or high complexity may include claims of wrongful or unfair dismissal but will usually involve other claims as well.  Typically high complexity cases will involve claims of discrimination or whistleblowing.

Each day of a tribunal hearing will incur a charge based on the time spent and the hourly rate of the lawyer. This will typically be over £2000 (excluding VAT).  In addition counsel’s fees will be incurred each day that the hearing continues (see below). These costs are included within the bands of fees outlined above.

Generally, we would expect a hearing lasting 1-2 days for a simple case, 2-4 days for a medium complexity case and 5 days or more for a high complexity case.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as counsel’s fees, expert’s fees, travel expenses and court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Counsel's fees vary according to the experience of the individual counsel.  Fees for a hearing are usually based on a brief fee which covers the cost of preparation and the first day of the hearing and “refresher” or a daily rate which is payable for the second and each subsequent day of the hearing. Typical fees for counsel are as follows:

Simple case: 

  • Brief fee £2000-£4000 (excluding VAT)
  • Refresher £1000-2000 (excluding VAT)                                                       

Medium complexity case:

  • Brief fee £4000-£12,000 (excluding VAT)
  • Refresher £1000-3000 (excluding VAT)             

High complexity case:

  • Brief fee £6000-75,000 (excluding VAT)
  • Refresher £1500- 5000 (excluding VAT)

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 2-4 weeks. The aim of employment tribunals is to conclude all cases within 26 weeks of the claim starting but in reality it may take longer to conclude, often 40-60 weeks from the claim starting to the final hearing. This is an estimate and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.


"Their ability to put themselves in their clients' shoes sets them apart."

Chambers and Partners 2018

Kingsley Napley LLP stands out for its experience acting for senior executives in contentious matters"

Legal 500 UK, 2019

The ‘knowledgeable’ group at Kingsley Napley LLP primarily represents senior executives in high-value litigation."

Legal 500 UK, 2017

They are very pragmatic and understand the commercial issues that we face. They understand our attitude to risk and act appropriately."

Chambers UK 2017, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession

There is a near seamless transition which demonstrates a high level of communication between themselves and how well organised they are behind the scenes. They always ensure that we feel supported, that we have understood a situation and that we know how to proceed."

Chambers UK 2017, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession

On the employer side, the firm focuses on the professional and financial services sectors. The ‘extremely well-regarded’ Richard Fox leads the practice."

Legal 500 UK, 2016


Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, Absence and Performance Management

Advising in relation to disciplinary and grievance procedures is one of our core areas of employment law expertise.

Discrimination Claims

We have a wealth of experience of discrimination law in relation to complex and high value discrimination, harassment and diversity matters.

Employment Contracts, Policies and Procedures

We help employers to ensure they have the right contractual provisions, policies and procedures in place to protect their business interests.

Employment Disputes and Litigation

Litigation and disputes are fundamental to what we do. We have years of experience acting in the most complex and challenging employment disputes.

Flexible Working and Family Friendly Rights at Work

We advise on family friendly rights at work, including maternity leave, adoption leave and employment rights in surrogacy cases.

Global Mobility and Employment Law

International relocation is a key challenge for both multinationals and domestic employers following Brexit. We are unique in providing top quality joined up employment law and immigration law advice.

Partnerships and LLPs

We act for professional partnerships and LLPs, as well as individual partners and members in a wide range of industry sectors.

Restrictive Covenants and Team Moves

We are widely known for giving practical advice to clients dealing with matters in the workplace, Employment Tribunal or High Court.

Senior Managers and Certification Regime

The Senior Managers and Certification regime is now in force. All involved need a thorough understanding of it, which is where we can help.

Terminations and Settlement Agreements

We have vast experience advising on terminations and settlement agreements and have a proven track record of achieving optimal outcomes.

Transactions, Redundancies, Restructurings and Outsourcing

We regularly deal with the employment aspects of transactions including share sales, business transfers and outsourcings.

Workplace Investigations & Whistleblowing

Acting for employers seeking to defend themselves against whistleblowing allegations or individuals who have blown the whistle.

GDPR and Data Protection

We help negotiate this complicated area of law, ensuring personal data is protected and helping to manage the consequences when it is not.

Association of Professional Working Parents

The APWP is a unique networking and support group for like-minded professional working mothers and fathers.

Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace

Our Employment, Regulatory, Criminal Litigation and Reputation Management lawyers work seamlessly in investigating and advising both organisations and individuals dealing with sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Employment Insights

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Data Protection and the Law of Unintended Consequences…

Carrying out a reasonable investigation into a misconduct allegation – can an employer withhold evidence from a disciplinary panel?

The extension of the SMCR, the fit & proper test and the increasing significance of non-financial misconduct

Is Section 40 of the Equality Act due a comeback?

How best to react to claims of sexual misconduct

How to bring an allegation of sexual misconduct in the workplace

The risk of Salmond’s aggressive approach to allegations

Gender Pay Gap Reporting – Are We Doing Enough?

Handling sexual misconduct complaints: lessons to learn from the Russell McVeagh report

What constitutes “normal” remuneration for the purposes of calculating holiday pay, and should pay in respect of voluntary overtime be included?

Employers should take care when considering the dismissal of employees with long-term medical conditions

What effect does a successful appeal against dismissal have on an employment contract?

Facing a sexual misconduct allegation at work: the importance of your first account

No protection for “whistleblowers” who fail to disclose factual information

Dealing with sexual allegations in the workplace

Some welcomed guidance for data controllers: Court of Appeal confirms the correct test to be applied when considering a SAR concerning mixed data

GDPR: The significance of the new principle of accountability

Mental Health Awareness Week - how employers can help #endthestigma

How to write a reference – Hincks v Sense Network Ltd

Transforming culture in financial services – keeping up with the debate

Important Changes to the Taxation of Termination Payments

Subject Access Requests under the GDPR: What employers need to know

IWD: Women: like men, only cheaper – understanding unequal pay and gender pay reporting

Brexit: what employers and their employees need to know

Diplomatic and state immunity – landmark Supreme Court judgments

Dealing with complaints of sexual harassment at work

The pitfalls of employee immigration status

Maternity Action report finds ‘unfair redundancies are forcing new mothers out of work’ – is it time for legislative change?

When is a data controller liable for the criminal acts of a rogue employee?

Fair investigation of sexual harassment claims in the workplace

An introduction to Data Protection Officers under the GDPR: Should you appoint one?

Keeping an eye on the ‘ex’: the EU Gothenburg Summit and the future of UK employment law

Thriving at work – better mental health support for individuals in the workplace

Sexual Harassment: Guidance for employers

Stopping sexual harassment from happening in the first place – #ICanHelpToo

Fair redundancies – Top tips for employers on individual consultation

A warning for employers to think carefully before suspending an employee

Alternatives to redundancies – Top 10 tips for employers

World Mental Health Day: dealing with mental health issues in the workplace

Employment tribunal fees - what took them so long?

Hardened practitioners miss a trick by not attending ET users meetings

Data Protection – can employers still monitor employees’ communications in light of Barbulescu v Romania?

Restrictions, garden leave and objecting to a TUPE transfer on a share sale and inducing a breach

Successful appeal in non-compete restrictive covenant case emphasises the importance of well drafted post termination restrictions

FCA proposes extension of senior managers regime

Implications of GDPR and new Data Protection Bill for employers

Where now for tribunal fees?

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Legal 500 UK - Senior Executives
Legal 500 UK, Employers

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