We advise businesses and individuals on employment law issues covering every stage of the employment relationship from hiring to firing and beyond.
We offer a cost-effective retainer service to businesses, enabling them to pay monthly for advice through the year on all HR and employment matters whenever they arise (other than Tribunal work). This may involve preparing contracts and policies, advising on disciplinary processes, restructuring the business, managing sickness absence and employee complaints – we understand the complexities of people management and are ready to advise and guide you, whatever the problem. We also represent businesses defending claims in the Employment Tribunal (e.g. unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing) and pursuing claims of breach of contract in the High Court, including applications for injunctive relief.
When things go wrong at work, it can be a very distressing and uncertain time. We understand the complexities of workplace disputes and can advise and support you through the situation to a successful resolution. We advise individuals, be they employees, consultants, managers, Directors, on all issues arising at work, including discrimination, breach of contract, unfair dismissal, redundancy and sickness. We will help resolve disputes and advise on Settlement Agreements on leaving employment. Where resolution is not achieved, we will provide expert advice and assistance with claims in the Employment Tribunal.
Our fee regime for bringing and defending claims in the Employment Tribunal are set out below.
Sarah is an experienced employment law specialist, with nearly 30 years’ post-qualification experience in dispute resolution and employment law. Sarah trained at and worked for one of the top 200 UK law firms and has co-owned her own practices. She has specialised as an employment law solicitor advising on all matters relating to employment and HR management since 2004.
Sarah’s practice is devoted entirely to advising businesses and individuals on employment law and she has advised 100s of clients on a wide range of issues. Sarah has particular expertise in cases involving employee competition and discrimination. She has extensive experience of bringing and defending cases in the Employment Tribunal and also in the High Court, dealing with breaches of confidentiality and applications for injunctive relief. Sarah’s key expertise is in the advice she gives businesses on people management and internal processes, empowering employers to do the best for their employees, thus helping the business to develop and prosper. When disputes arise, as they inevitably do, Sarah works with her clients to achieve a resolution and, where appropriate, an effective exit strategy, always with a view to achieving the best outcome for them.
The key to Sarah’s excellence, and the reason clients keep coming back to her, is her focus on understanding the needs of her client and on balancing commercial imperatives with basic human fairness. Sarah’s approach is to use the law to achieve the best outcome for her clients and to be sensitive to and look to minimise the psychological impact of major events occurring in the life of a business or an individual. She has a reputation for putting clients at ease in stressful circumstances and being there when needed.
Employment Tribunal Pricing
Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal
When we are asked to represent you in an Employment Tribunal claim, whether bringing or defending the claim, our first step is to sit down with you, understand the issues and work out the best strategy for dealing with the claim.
For individuals, we may have been advising you already on your employment situation and will have set out clearly how our pricing works up to this point. In brief, we will have an initial telephone consultation with you for no charge, to establish whether we can assist you with your case. Work undertaken by us before you reach the stage of bringing a claim will generally have to be paid by you privately as legal expenses insurance is not available for pre-claim work. The cost of this work can vary hugely as it depends on how complex your case is and what is involved. Our standard hourly rate applies throughout. However, we do not expect payment to be made in advance or generally until the conclusion of the case. If we help you resolve your dispute without you needing to bring a claim, this will usually be through a Settlement Agreement. Employers are expected to make a contribution to the cost of you being advised on the Agreement which can range from £250 – £750 plus VAT. If the costs are higher, we will always try to obtain the employer’s agreement to pay any excess over their contribution, but, failing this, you will be required to pay the balance but we always ensure any cost to you is proportionate to the outcome achieved.
We are focused on outcomes above all
We will always assess a case at the outset, to make sure the cost of assisting you is proportionate to the value of the claim and that there is sufficient merit in bringing or defending the claim as opposed to seeking resolution with the other party.
In the event we go ahead and represent you in relation to the bringing or defending of a claim in the Employment Tribunal, we will check with you whether you have legal expenses insurance in place which may cover the costs involved. Insurance will only cover the costs from the time a claim is being prepared but insurers should be notified early on, so that they can carry out their own assessment of the merits of the case to help them decide whether to accept the case.
Other than when an insurer specifies a lower hourly rate, our standard hourly rate for all work, for both businesses and individuals, is a highly competitive £150 plus VAT.
Our prices for Tribunal work
Simple case: £4,000 – £6,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £6,000 – £8,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £8,000 – £10,000 (excluding VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £750 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 3-5 days depending on the complexity of your case.
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
Not included in the above prices
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.
Counsel’s fees estimated between £750 to £1,200 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)
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
How long will my/our matter take?
The time 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 1-3 months, but this depends on when you instructed us to advise you and how protracted the matter becomes. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6-9 months. 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.
Berwick Law is the trading name for Berwick Law Limited (company number 08386604).
Our registered office is 34 Meadow Brook Road, Birmingham B31 1NE.
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (registration no. 612872).
Warren Berwick is the sole director. VAT No. 170 7065 19
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