Meet the Team

Lianne Payne – Senior Associate, Head of Employment Department

Lianne qualified as a solicitor in 2005. She attended Keele University and obtained a degree in Law and Criminology and completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course in Bristol.

Lianne has specialised in employment law since qualification and has been working in our Employment Team since 2014. She has been named in the Legal 500 for a number of years and is former partner in a niche employment law practice.

Jake Holloway – Trainee Solicitor

Jake has a degree in Law from Chester University and also completed the Legal Practice Course at the College of law school in Chester. Jake began his Training Contract with us in July 2018 and is currently based in our Employment Team. Jake has 5 years’ employment law experience, gained both in-house and in private practice, prior to joining the Firm and being offered a Training contract.

Services

The Employment Team focuses on 4 broad areas of work:­

  1. Employment Response Retainer Scheme
  2. Settlement agreements
  • Employment Tribunal work
  1. Employee relations issues (general employment law advice)

Specialisms

Lianne specialises in advising on TUPE transfers, employment tribunal proceedings, redundancies, preparing and advising on settlement agreements and post termination restrictions. Lianne also has experience in bringing/defending complex injunctive relief proceedings in conjunction with our Litigation Team. Lianne has approximately 15 years’ experience dealing with a variety of employment tribunal proceedings including unfair dismissal/automatically unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, interim relief, discrimination and wages claims.

Jake specialises in preparing employment contracts, policies, procedures and staff handbooks, and dealing with employee relations issues such as disciplinary matters or grievances. Jake also oversees our Employment Response Scheme and undertakes preparatory work in connection with settlement agreements and employment tribunal proceedings.

Fees

Lianne Payne charges an hourly rate of £205 + VAT.

Jake Holloway charges an hourly rate of £120 + VAT.

As Jake is a Trainee Solicitor, it is a requirement that his work is supervised. Supervision is undertaken by Lianne Payne. Supervision may include discussing your matter, reviewing draft documents and correspondence and amending documents or correspondence. Supervision time is chargeable to the client at Lianne’s hourly rate. It is envisaged overall that instructing Jake to undertake work on your behalf under Lianne’s supervision is likely to prove more cost effective than instructing Lianne directly. There are certain matters however that only Lianne will be qualified to deal with.

Employment Tribunal Proceedings

There are a number of different claims that an individual can bring in the employment tribunals. Two of the most common claims are unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.

Unfair Dismissal

Generally, an employee who has the qualifying period of service has the right not to be unfairly dismissed. The right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal is available only to an employee. Employees can generally only bring a claim for ordinary unfair dismissal if they have 2 years’ continuous service. However, there are a number of unfair dismissal claims where an employee does not need to have any minimum qualifying period of service.

The dismissal of a qualifying employee will be unfair unless the employer can show that the reason for the dismissal was one of the five potentially fair reasons, or the tribunal finds that, in all the circumstances, the employer acted reasonably in treating that reason as a sufficient reason for dismissal.

Wrongful Dismissal

Wrongful dismissal is a dismissal in breach of contract. Fairness is not an issue and the question is simply whether the terms of the contract have been breached. An employee may have a claim in damages if their employer, in dismissing them, breached the contract and caused them loss. Common examples include a dismissal with the incorrect notice period or without notice, or breach of a contractual disciplinary or redundancy procedure.

For an overview of the stages involved in bringing/defending an employment tribunal claim, please refer to:

https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals

https://www.gov.uk/being-taken-to-employment-tribunal-by-employee

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1889

Pricing

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

Simple case: £4,000-£6,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)

Medium complexity case: £6,000-£10,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements)

High complexity case: £10,000+ (excluding VAT and disbursements)

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • 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
  • Dealing with claims where the other side (or their representative) is not proactive in responding to correspondence or complying with directions orders
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties), an application for interim relief, admissibility of documents
  • 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
  • Multiple claims

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing. We generally instruct counsel to attend hearings on your behalf. Generally, we would allow 1-10 days depending on the complexity of your case.

Disbursements

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

Counsel’s fees estimated between £750 to £3,000 + VAT per day for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation), depending on experience of the advocate. They are not included in the fee estimate above.

Key stages

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

The stages set out above are only an indication of what may be required and if some of the stages above are not necessary, the fee will be reduced. 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 on your individual needs.

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 and the Tribunal in which proceedings have been issued.

If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take between 1 day and 45 days. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 26 – 52 weeks. 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.

Following the relatively recent abolition of employment tribunal fees, the number of employment tribunal claims have increased substantially. As such, The Tribunals currently have insufficient resources to deal with the surge in claims and are currently undertaking an exercise to recruit additional employment tribunal judges.  As a result of the increase in claims, there is a substantial backlog and it is likely that a claim will take longer to progress to a full merits hearing than may previously have been the case. This situation is subject to change and likely to improve in due course.

Meet your Employment Law specialists

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