What I charge
On the question of fees, rwLaw is a business and I do charge for my services. I make it as easy as I can by charging for the first hour of advice at half my normal rate (expect to pay around £90+VAT). This is ample time to decide whether you have a case that requires action against your employer. If I believe you should be heard by an employment tribunal, I will show you how to manage the process yourself if you wish, in order to be more cost effective. The Employment Tribunal system is designed for individuals to be able to represent themselves – it is all handled in a very non-threatening environment designed to put you at your ease. However, you do not have to go it alone if you would prefer to have legal representation throughout your claim but be aware that the fees for this could ultimately be several thousands of pounds.
Since July 2013, employees have been charged a fee for going to tribunal. It is designed to encourage the settlement of disputes outside court, but it does raise the stakes for an individual seeking justice.
There are two types of claim, A and B. Type A is for virtually all complaints against an employer, except for unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing, which are categorised as Type B.
The fees are:
- Type A claim: £160.
- Type B claim: £250.
The hearing fees are:
- Type A claim: £230.
- Type B claim: £950.
Unfortunately, legal aid is not available for employment cases, although the government will be issuing guidance later this year about cases of financial hardship.
Why do we charge for initial advice?
We are frequently asked if we give out free initial consultations. Some traditional law firms do give an initial interview at no charge, but do you remember the old saying ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’? Law firms, whether small or large, stay in business by charging for their time and expertise and would go out of business rather quickly if they didn’t make up for time which they have spent on all of these ‘free initial consultations’. Very frequently, a solicitor is under pressure to turn that ‘free’ interview into a money spinner, so how can you trust that the advice they are giving you is impartial and to your advantage? This is the reason why we charge half rate for initial consultations. You get the impartial advice which you need to make a decision, and we are not under pressure to concoct a tribunal claim out of thin air in order to pay our bills.
The Citizens Advice Bureau can offer you free advice, but while they offer a wonderful service, you will be very lucky to find a trained specialist employment lawyer there. Before embarking on what will become quite a costly exercise, it is much better to seek expert advice first. You can call rwLaw in total confidence.
Please note: If you are a client and we have made a contract with you by electronic means (which we do as our letters of engagement are sent by email) you may be entitled to use an EU online dispute resolution service to assist with any contractual dispute you may have with us. This service can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/odr. Our email address is email@example.com