Our Employment Law Team
We are a niche specialist practice and our employment team has over 30 years of collective experience in delivering high-quality work in all matters relating almost exclusively to employment law.
The team has particular expertise in:-
- Negotiating exit terms and settlement packages for businesses and individuals
- Employment tribunal litigation (on behalf of both claimants and respondents). We also act on behalf of insurers
- Drafting, preparing & advising upon tailored contract documentation and handbooks
- Drafting, preparing & advising upon casual worker agreements and consultancy agreements
- Redundancy advice
- The provision of TUPE advice
- Discrimination claims on behalf of Claimants and defending claims on behalf of businesses
- Whistleblowing claims
- Settlement agreements
We also take on each year at least 1-2 pro – bono cases.
We have four members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Marie Walsh who is a Director and owner of the business. She is the head of the employment law team here at Consilia Legal.
Marie Walsh – Director
Marie is the head of the employment law team and has over 16 years’ experience in this area. Marie has been working in employment law since she qualified and has helped hundreds of businesses and individuals throughout that time.
Marie qualified as a solicitor in 2001 after gaining a 2;1 in Law from the Nottingham Trent University. She completed her training contract at Blacks Solicitors in Leeds and worked at different firms before founding Consilia Legal in 2014.
Marie is a qualified workplace mediator and also a regular visiting lecturer on a number of postgraduate qualifications
She is the regional representative for the Employment Lawyers Association and also group lead for Skipton CIPD group delivering regular employment law updates She also delivers webinars for a variety of businesses including IRIS Software and Cascade
Marie sits on the board of Leeds Law Society and also on the main committee of the CIPD North Yorkshire.
Employment law is Marie’s passion and people are her main priority either as owners of businesses, HR advisors or individuals who may require assistance. Marie has advised most recently on a number of high profile whistleblowing claims and specialises in complex litigation matters such as discrimination claims. She also advises on a range of contract and TUPE issues.
Marie is straight talking and fair and will always apply a balanced approach to any matter to ensure the very best outcomes for her clients.
Victoria Horner– Senior Associate
Victoria qualified as a solicitor in 2003, having obtained a 2:1 degree in Law and completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course whilst at university in Leeds. She completed her training contract at Blacks Solicitors and joined the litigation team on qualification. She has been practicing employment law since 2013 and joined the team at Consilia Legal in September 2016, having worked with Marie at different firms previously.
Victoria is experienced in dealing with complex employment litigation matters including high-value discrimination claims in the employment tribunal. She also regularly provides support to businesses. She has a full commercial approach to this utilising the personal experience she has gained as a Director for many years of a family business. Day to day Victoria can assist businesses with contract drafting and advising on disciplinary and grievance issues. She also regularly advises upon settlement agreement terms
Victoria is known for her cool head and her down to earth and straight talking approach & she is also a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.
Andy Boyde– Assistant Solicitor
Andy joined the firm in November 2017 from Blacks Solicitors and is 3 years post qualification. Andy qualified as a solicitor in 2013 after gaining a 2:1 in Law and Management from the University of Leeds. Andy completed his LPC at BPP Leeds on a part-time basis whilst playing full-time professional rugby for Doncaster Knights. He undertook a part-time paralegal role for 2 years, then was a trainee for 2 years before qualifying as a solicitor at Blacks Solicitors in Leeds.
Andy has a range of experiences advising both Company and Individual clients on both a contentious and non-contentious basis. Andy regularly advises businesses and individuals in relation to settlement agreements, disciplinary and grievance issues
He has a particular niche in advising sports-related clients due to his former career as a professional rugby player.
Emma Cartlidge – Employment Solicitor
Emma has a joint honors degree in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of the West of England, Bristol. Emma has completed the Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Law in Bristol and the Legal Practice Course at Leeds Law School. Emma has also gained a Masters in Legal Practice from Leeds Law School. Emma began her training contract with us in September 2017 Emma will qualify as a solicitor in March 2019 and will work in our Employment law team as a newly qualified solicitor.
During her paralegal and solicitor training in the Employment law team, Emma has gained experience assisting with:
- Contract/policy drafting & employee handbooks
- Settlement agreements
- Disciplinary and grievance procedures
- Termination arrangements
- Managing sickness absence
- Redundancy advice
- Early Conciliation
- Tribunal cases including ETA applications
Emma is an excellent communicator, well organised and is a valued member of the firm.
What are our costs?
We are required by our regulator to set out a range of our potential costs which you can expect to be charged when bringing or defending a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal.
These charges vary on a case by case basis and the variables which may affect the cost are set out below. By way of example, however:-
Simple case unfair dismissal : £5000.00-£7000.00 (plus VAT)
Medium complexity case £7500.00 – £10,000.00 (plus VAT)
High complexity case £10,000.00 – £15,000.00 (plus VAT)
Cases that involve elements of discrimination or whistleblowing have costs range between £15,000.00 – £50,000.00 generally but this can be more again depending on the complexity and issues detailed below.
Each case is unique and we will provide you with a bespoke estimate upon instruction.
Our usual hourly rates are:-
- Marie Walsh £260 plus VAT
- Victoria Horner £240 plus VAT
- Andy Boyde £225 plus VAT
- Emma Cartlidge £180 plus VAT
- Factors that could make your claim or defence more complex are:
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim. This may be called the provision of further and better particulars.
- Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person. These claims can be more time intensive due to the lack of formal representation
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether a claim or defence has been brought in time, whether an individual is entitled to bring the types of claim they wish or whether for example, a 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
- If there is an application for interim relief in a whistleblowing claim
- If there are allegations of discrimination or other claims which are linked to the dismissal
- If there is a vast amount of paperwork relating to the matter
- If there are a number of preliminary issues or hearings
- If one party acts unreasonably (though we would seek to recover costs at the end of the claim if this were the case by way of a costs application)
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £1000.00 per day (plus VAT). Generally, we would allow 2 days for a simple unfair dismissal claim but this can vary and will always depend 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.
Counsel’s fees may be incurred in addition to our fees and these normally include an initial brief fee which can vary from £1000.00 plus VAT to 5000.00 plus VAT (depending on experience of the advocate and the complexity of the case). This covers initial preparation for the hearing and day one in the tribunal.
There is also a daily rate thereafter estimated between £750.00 plus VAT – £2000.00 plus VAT per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for actual attendance at a Tribunal Hearing (including any other preparation time)
Please note that the initial brief fee quoted by a barrister for preparation and the first day generally remains payable even in the event that you settle the claim late or close to the first day of the hearing
We will keep you appraised of any costs and payment dates in this regard should you choose to instruct a barrister. We request payment of all barristers fees on the account and prior to any hearing commencing
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 (or ACAS Early 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 the 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 a 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 the preparation of full 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.
We are able to quote fixed fees for each piece of work with which you require assistance.
You may also have insurance which may fund your claim or defence.
You should check any policies that you may have which include legal expenses cover or LEI. Please contact your insurer if you do have this on your policy.
We are able to act under the insurance policy and can assist you with this if you need help.
If you are insured then we take on the claim or defence and your insurer will normally cover the costs of us so doing providing that the claim or defence has 51% prospects of success (normally gauged by the insurers’ independent barrister).
You remain responsible for all costs which are incurred prior to the insurer implementing cover under your policy (eg: a review of papers) and by way of example these normally do not exceed £1000.00 plus VAT and are often less.
If you do have an insurance policy and require assistance in communicating with the insurer directly please contact us.
No Win no Fee – Damages-Based Agreements (DBA’s)
We rarely consider cases on a no win no fee basis.
If we do however you will be asked to enter into a DBA. Under the terms of a DBA we would be entitled to take 35% of any damages recovered for you (including VAT). You may remain liable to pay for any barristers fees and any fees in relation to the initial assessment of your papers/case.
If we agree a DBA with you, we will send out a full letter of terms and explain this in full.
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.
A settlement can be reached at any time.
If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 2-4 weeks.
If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 15-26 weeks in some tribunal centres but in others, it may take between 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.
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, please contact our complaints handler Marie Walsh on 01133229222 or Marie@consilialegal.co.uk for a copy of our complaints policy and procedure. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, disability or other characteristic.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint
- No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
- No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them:
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ