Whether you are an employer or an employee we are able to help and represent your case.
As an employee you may feel like your employer holds all the power cards, but YOU have many rights that are protected under law, you can protect those rights further by securing them if you are represented by J Benson Solicitors Ltd.
We can advise upon, and draft your settlement agreements for you. (Please note that this is the only section of employment law that we cover)
A Settlement Agreement (formerly known as a Compromise Agreement) is a specific type of contract between an employer and employee under which the employee receives a financial payment in exchange for agreeing that he or she will not pursue any legal claims against the employer.
Settlement agreements are commonly used as a means of resolving disputes between an employer and employee and as a means of mutually terminating the employment relationship. The payment made to the employee may consist of salary, contractual notice pay and a compensation payment for the termination of employment. A compensation payment may be tax free if it is less than £30,000.
Our experienced, highly skilled employment solicitors can advise you on employment law, particularly Employment Settlement Agreements.
It is crucial to note that a significant number of cases are resolved and settled prior to reaching the stage of a trial before an Employment Tribunal. At J Benson Solicitors, we consistently strive to minimize unnecessary expenses throughout the process. However, when estimating potential costs, we are obligated to consider the scenario where the case does proceed to trial and is heard in court.
- Simple case: £500 plus VAT at the prevailing rate, currently, 20%
- Medium complexity case: £1,000 – £4,000 plus VAT
High complexity case: £4,500 – 8,000 plus VAT
Several factors can contribute to the complexity and duration of a dispute, particularly in cases involving discrimination claims. These factors may impact the costs involved, which can sometimes be beyond our control. Key considerations include:
- The factual background of the dispute – Discrimination claims often involve intricate factual circumstances that require careful examination.
- Value of the Settlement Sum – if parties do not agree on a sum before the tribunal hearing.
- Adversarial approach: If the opposing party exhibits a deliberately uncooperative or difficult stance, it can lead to increased costs.
- Volume of documentation: The amount of documentation generated by both sides can affect the complexity and duration of the case.
- Applications, amendments, and additional information: Making or defending applications, amending claims, or providing further information can introduce additional complexities and costs.
- Litigants in person: Defending claims brought by individuals without legal representation can add complexities to the proceedings.
- Complex preliminary issues: Disputes involving preliminary issues, such as disputed disability status, can contribute to the complexity of the case.
- Number of witnesses and documents: Cases with a larger number of witnesses and extensive document disclosure can increase the complexity and duration of the proceedings.
- Automatic unfair dismissal and discrimination allegations: Claims linked to automatic unfair dismissal or allegations of discrimination can introduce further intricacies.
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
Please note that attending a Tribunal Hearing will incur an additional charge of £1,000 per day, excluding VAT. The duration of the hearing will depend on the complexity of the case, with more complex cases typically lasting three or more days.
We charge based on an hourly rate which varies depending on the member of staff dealing with your matter. Our lowest hourly rate is £200.00 + VAT and our highest hourly rate is £X. The seniority of the members of staff dealing with your case will depend on its complexity. We will discuss this with you when you instruct us.
Disbursements are expenses directly associated with your case, such as court fees. To facilitate a smoother process, we handle the payment of these disbursements on your behalf.
In the event that it becomes necessary to engage a barrister (which we will discuss with you if required), it is important to note that their fees will be in addition to the costs outlined above. The fees charged by barristers can vary significantly based on their level of expertise and experience. To ensure competitive fees, we strive to work with a select number of barristers’ chambers. For trial preparation, these costs typically range between £750.00 plus VAT (at the current rate of 20%) and £5,000.00 plus VAT, covering the preparation and the first day of trial. Subsequently, daily rates for barristers can range between £600.00 plus VAT and £1,500.00 plus VAT, depending on their level of expertise and experience. In more complex cases, we generally recommend engaging more experienced barristers, as their expertise can bring significant value despite the higher costs involved.
- Initial instructions: Taking your instructions, reviewing the relevant documents, and providing advice on the merits of the case and potential compensation (please note that this assessment may be revisited and subject to change throughout the matter).
- Pre-claim conciliation: Engaging in mandatory pre-claim conciliation to explore the possibility of reaching a settlement before initiating formal proceedings.
- Claim or response preparation: Assisting with the preparation of the claim or response document.
- Reviewing and advising: Reviewing and providing advice on the claim or response received from the other party.
- Settlement negotiations: Exploring settlement options and engaging in negotiations throughout the process.
- Schedule of loss: Preparing or considering a schedule of loss, outlining the damages sought.
- Preliminary Hearing: Preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing, if necessary.
- Document exchange and bundle agreement: Exchanging relevant documents with the other party and agreeing on a bundle of documents for the proceedings.
- Witness statements: Assisting with taking witness statements, drafting them, and finalizing their content in coordination with the witnesses.
- Bundle preparation: Preparing the necessary bundle of documents for the proceedings.
- Reviewing opposing witness statements: Reviewing and providing advice on the witness statements submitted by the other party.
- List of issues, chronology, and cast list: Agreeing on a list of issues, a chronology, and a cast list to streamline the proceedings.
- Final Hearing preparation: Preparing for the final hearing, including instructions to Counsel if required.
Please note that these stages are provided as a general indication, and the actual work required may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. If certain stages are not applicable, the fee will be adjusted accordingly. We are flexible in tailoring our services to meet your individual needs, should you prefer to handle certain aspects of the claim yourself while seeking advice on specific stages.
A typical time frame to draft a compromise agreement is no more than 7 days.
A typical time frame to draft a settlement agreement is 2 working days.
The duration of your case, from the point of taking your initial instructions to its final resolution, is influenced by the specific stage at which your matter is resolved. If a settlement is achieved during pre-claim conciliation, it is typically expected to take approximately 2-8 weeks to reach a resolution. However, if your claim progresses to a Final Hearing, it is likely to require a longer timeframe of around 6-9 months. The exact duration depends on when the Tribunal schedules the case for hearing. It is important to note that these timeframes are estimates and as your case progresses and we gather more information, we will be able to provide you with a more accurate timescale.
Juliet Benson is the Director of the firm, and a senior solicitor with 19 years of experience. Juliet is also the Head of the Employment Department. Juliet deals with employment matters and has over 10 years of experience.
Juliet is supported by our Paralegals, Jordan Jules and Taiwo Fakorede.