Employment

“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 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 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, partners, entrepreneurs, and high profile public figures.

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 immigrationcorporate and commercialcriminal and regulatory teams.  

The work we do:

Discrimination

 

EXITS AND RESTRUCTURES

 

Investigations

 

PARTNERSHIPS, LLPS AND REGULATED INDUSTRIES

 

Policies and procedures

 

Further information

If you have any questions or require employment advice, please email our employment law team or contact one of our employment lawyers.

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.

FEES FOR Employment tribunal claims

We have 10 team members who might work on your matter; a trainee solicitor and nine qualified lawyers.  See profiles.

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

 

Work we do not undertake

  • 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:

  • Partner - £500-£525
  • Senior associate  - £360-£395
  • Associate - £230-£340
  • Trainee solicitor - £185
  • Paralegal - £175-190

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.

 

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

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, 2018

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

Services

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

We advise organisations and individuals dealing with sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Employment Insights

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+44 (0)20 7814 1200

enquiries@kingsleynapley.co.uk

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