Employment problems


As an employee, we expect our employers to have our best interests at heart. However, more and more people are taking their employers to Employment Tribunals and the number of complaints continues to rise every year, especially after the removal of the tribunal fees.

At Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall, we understand how stressful a problem at work can be and our experienced, dedicated employment lawyers are keen to help.

They will speak to you in a relaxed and informal way to put you at ease and explain the best way forward in straightforward, jargon-free language.

How can we help?

Our extensively experienced legal team have expert knowledge of all aspects of employment law, from broader matters to highly specialised issues.

We act for both employees and employers, so we can anticipate the arguments likely to be raised by the employer. This enables us to fight your case more effectively than less experienced legal advisers.

Examples of the areas our employment solicitors can advise you on include:

  • Settlement agreements
  • Contracts of employment
  • Post-termination restrictions/restrictive covenants
  • Discrimination
  • Grievance and disciplinary disputes
  • Redundancy
  • Maternity rights
  • TUPE
  • Unfair dismissal
  • Whistleblowing
  • Harassment

We provide a free 10-minute phone consultation after which we will tell you if we can help you or not. If we can assist, we offer a number of funding options such as:

  • An agreed hourly rate
  • Legal insurance funding
  • No win no fee/contingency funding

Our prices and costs explained

Our team has over a decade of experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to Employment law.

We have key members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Michael Shroot, Head of the Employment Team.

The team is comprised of:

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

The pricing below excludes VAT which will be charged at 20% in addition to the indication of costs. We record all time spent and our charges will be determined by the value of the time spent in relation to your case.

  • Simple case: £1,000 – £2,000 – where time does not exceed eight hours
  • Medium complexity case: £2,000 – £4,000 – where time does not exceed 16 hours
  • High complexity case: £6,000+ – where time is 24 hours or over

Once we have details from you we can be more specific.

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
  • 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

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £750 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1-3 days depending on the complexity of your case.


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. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to 3rd parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Details of court fees can be obtained here.

Counsel’s fees estimated between £850 to £2,500 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation). Counsel’s fees will attract VAT at 20% in addition.

In certain circumstances we are able to offer to take your case on a no win no fee basis.

Further, many people have Employment Protection Insurance as part of their home insurance or even a standalone policy.  This means that quite often the insurance company will pay your legal fees and you have the right by law to the freedom of choice of your own law firm to protect you, so rather than being forced to have an insurers own legal adviser who may not be local to you, you can choose a local experienced solicitor to fight for you.

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 an indication and if some of stages above are not required, 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. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 1-4 weeks. If not, then it can conclude at any time between around four weeks and six months. Cases can settle even when a court or tribunal case is issued at any time before the final hearing. It should take around six months to deal with a court or tribunal matter to final disposal. For simple matters the likely timescale will be at the lower end of the scale. Medium complexity matters are likely to be in the middle of the timescale. High complexity cases are likely to take the most time and will likely be towards the six month stage.

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.

Need expert advice? Let us help:

To discuss any aspect of this area of law please contact;

Sara Beaumont or Michael Shroot on 0161 761 4611

Other Services

Are you an employer? We also offer employment law advice to businesses and we offer a fixed cost dedicated employer protection scheme for our clients.