employment law solicitors

When an employment problem arises, swift, knowledgeable and practical legal advice is not a luxury, but a necessity.

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Adapt HR advice line

Bespoke employment law and HR advice 24/7 for a fixed annual fee.

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Settlement agreements

Settling outside of court may be the best option for employers to save time, money, and reputation.

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Adapt Training

Access to practical training sessions covering a broad range of key issues, delivered by our leading team of employment law solicitors either on-site or in our offices.

Our employment solicitors

Employees are a crucial part of any business, and managing them in an efficient and proactive manner is vital to ensuring a productive and cohesive working environment.

Managing daily issues relating to your employees can be a time-consuming task and if they aren't dealt with appropriately, they can result in further difficulties. If you need practical, expert employment law advice or assistance with day-to-day HR, our accomplished and highly respected team of employment solicitors and advisers should be your first point of call.

Offering first-rate legal advice at cost-effective prices, we know employment law inside out and help our diverse range of clients navigate the complexity of an ever-changing legal landscape.

Our considerable strength and depth of knowledge are recognised by the Legal 500, the UK’s leading independent guide to law firms, in which partner and head of employment, Oliver Tasker and his team are highly ranked and recommended.

Get in touch Meet our experts

What our employment solicitors can do for you

The team specialise solely in employment law to ensure you receive practical, commercial, and easy-to-understand advice tailored to your organisation.

Our employment solicitors all undertake their own advocacy at an employment tribunal and are members of the Employment Lawyers Association. We help you find solutions to your employment law problems, quickly and effectively and work with you every step of the way.

We work with businesses of all sizes, both locally and nationally, across a wide range of sectors and industries who specialise in:

  1. Unfair dismissal

    As a business manager, director, or owner, you may need practical advice on the risks and processes to follow when dismissing an employee.

    We will mitigate the risks of any potential tribunal claim, but sometimes this cannot be avoided. Our employment law solicitors will advise and represent you in defending any claims in a robust and cost-effective way.

    Find out more

  2. Disciplinaries and grievances

    Taking disciplinary action or dealing with complex grievances can be a difficult and delicate situation for all involved, with employers needing to be certain that they adhere to legal requirements and follow a fair procedure. Our employment solicitors will guide you through the process, draft letters, and advise you on options.

  3. Contracts of employment and employee handbooks

    Are your contracts of employment and policies fit for your organisation? We will carry out a thorough review of your current policies, procedures, and contracts of employment to ensure you are legally compliant and protect you as a business.

    Find out more
  4. Equal pay

    The Equality Act 2010 ensures that both sexes should receive equal pay for equal work. If an employee believes they are being paid differently, while doing a comparable job, this could become an equal pay dispute or even a discrimination claim. We can advise you on complex equal pay claims and seek to limit the prospects of any tribunal claims.  

  5. Equality, diversity and discrimination

    The Equality Act 2010 protects employees from being discriminated against in the workplace because of a protected characteristic. Do you have robust policies in place and carry out relevant training to protect your organisation from any claims?

  6. Redundancy and reorganisations

    Our employment law team will help you plan a reorganisation or redundancy process from the outset by providing clear and commercial advice on the various legal requirements.

    This will ensure you are fully prepared before the consultation process starts and have clear guidance on how to conduct consultations.

    Find out more
  7. Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE)

    The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, known as TUPE protects employees in instances where changes to a business, such as a sale, result in a change to the employee’s employer. We support businesses during this process to ensure that the appropriate legal steps have been followed under TUPE.

  8. Mergers and acquisitions

    Employment law issues can arise in corporate transactions. We will support you at all times during the process and advise on any structural changes and legal implications. Our focus is to ensure the transaction is seamless for all involved.

  9. Terminating senior executives

    Our experienced employment solicitors will closely support you in the dismissing of senior executives, ensuring that you are fully advised on commercial considerations and options.  

  10. Employment tribunal claims

    Facing an employment tribunal claim is complex and often daunting. We have the experience to guide you through every step from Acas Early Conciliation, from submitting your defence (ET3) all the way through to representing you at the final hearing at the tribunal.

    Find out more
  11. Restrictive covenants

    A restrictive covenant protects your business against detrimental actions from an employee when they have left your organisation.

    Are you confident a former employee cannot poach staff and customers or join a competitor? Are the restrictions in your contracts of employment up to date, reasonable, and enforceable?

    We can advise you on drafting restrictive covenants and queries regarding their enforceability. 

  12. Settlement agreements

    We can draft a tailored settlement agreement to ensure that a clean break is achieved, providing you with the peace of mind that there is no come back when the employee has left. We will also provide commercial advice on the financial offer and carry out negotiations on your behalf.

    Find out more
  13. HR advice and support services

    Our specialist HR professionals provide flexible and cost-effective on-site HR advice and support, from conducting investigations to chairing disciplinary hearings.

    Find out more

What can you expect from an employment solicitor at Wilkin Chapman?

We are proud that we have the largest and highest-ranked employment team in the region.

We immerse ourselves in our client’s organisations to understand the culture and ethos, taking a hands-on, practical, and proactive approach to provide the tailored legal advice you require, when you need it most.

  1. An extension to your team

    We proactively engage with you at the earliest opportunity to identify potential problems before they become legal claims. Working in partnership with your HR team or senior management employment law team offers readily accessible guidance and advice tailored to your organisation to ensure a stable and effective workforce.

  2. Strategic approach

    Our employment advice and HR support is unique in offering a complete strategic service; seamless advice from the earliest sign of an issue, through careful strategic management, assessment of options and risks, to agreed actions or fully defended employment tribunal claims.

  3. Early intervention

    Our knowledge and experience as advocates in the employment tribunal over many years gives us valuable insight as to how a claim is likely to progress, informing the strategy while minimising risk and cost. We are not here simply to deal with a legal claim when it arises, but to spot issues, track potential problems, guide early interventions and plan ahead.

Our employment law and HR packages

Our employment law solicitors have developed a range of packages so that you’re able to access the ideal level of advice and practical help to suit your business perfectly. 

You can access any of our services on an hourly rate basis or for a fixed annual fee.

Adapt HR advice line

We are here to provide swift, knowledgeable and practical legal advice when you need it most.

Our employment law and HR advice line, Adapt HR, provides cost-effective legal advice, 24/7, for a fixed annual fee. In addition to the core package of access via phone, email or face-to-face to our leading employment team, you will have six additional bespoke employment and HR solutions that we can adapt to suit your business, so you can confidently deal with any employment situation when they arise.

Adapt Training

Our bespoke employment law training programme provides you and your team with a tailored service to suit your business requirements.

We believe that dealing with HR and employment law issues in the workplace does not always have to be reactive. A problem can be avoided by having well-informed staff, who are aware of their responsibilities and adept at spotting and tackling a potential issue.

Our practical training sessions, delivered by our leading team of HR experts, can help you achieve this and prevent a possible situation before it even arises. The training covers a broad spectrum of key legal issues while providing hands-on advice and real-life examples.

We approach our employment law and HR services with total flexibility in terms of what we provide.

How much will it cost?

Our fees are calculated on an hourly rate basis, with the hourly rates being commensurate with the qualification and expertise of the team members. These range from £180 to £300 exclusive of VAT. When we meet with you, we will discuss the most cost-effective way for us to pursue your case and the suitable level of fee earner and their hourly rate.

Our fee estimates are provided on the basis that your claim progresses all the way up to and including a final hearing at the employment tribunal. Many cases do settle before this hearing takes place and as we calculate our fees on an hourly rate basis, this will affect the total amount you are billed by us. We will be happy to provide you with a full case-specific estimate when we meet with you.

You should always check whether you have legal expenses covered on any of your business insurance policies to defend employment-related claims as these may cover our fees.

Adapt HR pricing Make an enquiry
  1. Simple case

    The simple case estimate involves a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal only, with none of the complicating factors and is limited to a one-day hearing.

    We estimate that these types of cases take between 30 and 35 hours at an average hourly rate of £237.50 plus VAT. This means on average costs are between £7,125 to £8,312.50 excluding VAT.

    VAT is currently charged at 20%

  2. Medium complexity case

    The medium complexity case estimate involves one other claim alongside a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal (e.g. discrimination, whistleblowing), as well as one of the complicating factors and is limited to a two-day hearing.

    We estimate that these types of cases take between 35 and 75 hours at an average hourly rate of £237.50 plus VAT. This means on average costs are between £8,312.50 to £17,812.50 excluding VAT.

    VAT is currently charged at 20%

  3. High complexity case

    The complex estimate is based on a case which involves a number of types of claims alongside the unfair/wrongful dismissal claim, as well as two or more of the complicating factors, and a multi-day final hearing.

    We estimate that these types of cases take between 75 and 115 hours at an average hourly rate of £237.50 plus VAT. This means on average costs are between £17,812.50 to £27,312.50 excluding VAT.

    VAT is currently charged at 20%

  4. Disbursements

    Disbursements are payable in addition to our fees. These are payments made to third parties, such as counsel. The only disbursements we would anticipate are counsel’s fees should they be instructed to represent you at the final hearing.

    Simple case

    In a simple case, we estimate these will vary between £850 - £1,500 plus VAT (on the basis of a one-day hearing) depending on their experience, to prepare your case and represent you at the final hearing.

    Medium complexity case

    In a medium complexity case, we estimate these will vary between £1,750 - £3,500 plus VAT (on the basis of a two-day hearing) depending on their experience, to prepare your case and represent you at the final hearing.

    High complexity case

    In a complex case, we estimate these will vary between £3,500 - £10,000 plus VAT (on the basis of a three-day hearing) depending on their experience, to prepare your case and represent you at the final hearing.

    VAT is currently charged at 20%

  5. What work is covered within this estimate?
    • Meeting with you to obtain full instructions, review the claim form (ET1) and drafting and filing your response to the claim (ET3) with the tribunal showing us as your representative.

    • Providing you with a letter outlining our views on the prospects of your success.

    • Obtaining from you all relevant documents and compiling a list of documents relevant to the claim. Exchanging lists of documents with the claimant or their representative, considering their list and requesting copies of missing documents.

    • Considering all disclosed documents and their impact on the merits of your response to the claim. Agreeing the bundle of documents.

    • Reviewing the schedule of loss setting out the value of the claimant’s claim.

    • Liaising with Acas throughout your case to seek a settlement if these are your instructions.

    • Drafting your witness statements, agreeing the contents with your witnesses and serving these on the claimant.

    • Receiving your witness statements and seeking your comments on their statements.

    • Preparing your case for hearing in the employment tribunal. We have priced on the basis that counsel will be instructed for the advocacy and we will provide quotes for your approval.

    The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages are not required the fee will be reduced.

  6. What factors could make a case more complex?
    • If the claimant has brought additional claims alongside the unfair or wrongful dismissal claim (these can include matters such as discrimination, unlawful deduction from wages, and holiday pay owing).

    • Making or defending any applications to the tribunal to deal with issues that arise as the case progresses.

    • Being ordered to provide further information about your response to the claim by the tribunal.

    • The number of witnesses you wish to rely on. The simple case estimate is based on you having two witnesses and the claimant having no more than two witnesses.

    • The final hearing being listed for more than one day.

    • Making or defending a costs application.

    • If you wish us to undertake the advocacy on your case at the final hearing or attend the final hearing to support counsel.

  7. How long will my case take?

    The tribunal will set a timetable for the case through case management orders. It is difficult to provide you with a fixed timescale as an indication as the tribunal currently has a backlog of claims. The case may resolve or settle at any of the steps set out above. If the case proceeds from a claim form through to the final hearing the date for your hearing is dependent upon the tribunal’s availability.

    This varies considerably depending on the location of the tribunal but as an estimate it is likely to be approximately 9 to 18 months from the date that the claim is received.

    This is just an estimate and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as your case progresses.

Employment law FAQs

We help clients nip problems in the bud and resolve their employment issues every day.

Here are the most common questions we receive in regard to employment law cases.

  1. Do employees have to have written contracts?

    All employees and workers are entitled to a written contract of employment to be provided from day one of their employment. There is a certain amount of information which is required to be provided within these contracts, and we would recommend that they are well drafted in order to be legally enforceable, particularly for more senior employees.

    Find out more
  2. Do we need to have specific policies and procedures in place?

    There is no legal requirement to have a staff handbook full of policies and procedures, however, disciplinary and grievance procedures are required to be referenced within the contract of employment and so should always be in place. It is also a legal requirement to have a privacy notice setting out how you handle your employees’ personal data.

    Aside from those, there are a number of policies we would recommend having as a minimum, and others that may be required depending on the nature of your business. As policies are generally non-contractual, they can be easily changed so it is useful to have them in place so that employees know their responsibilities, rights and obligations.

    Find out more
  3. Can we dismiss an employee for any reason before they reach two years’ service?

    Any dismissal of an employee is legally required to be both procedurally and substantively fair, i.e. the employer must follow a fair process and dismiss for a fair reason. However, an employee can only bring a claim for unfair dismissal if they have achieved two years' qualifying service with that employer.

    Therefore, many employers will dismiss an employee before they reach this mark as there is no risk of an unfair dismissal claim being lodged. That said, some other types of claims can be brought in these circumstances without the employee having two years’ service so advice should always be sought.

    Find out more
  4. How can our managers be up to speed on employment law obligations?

    Employers rely on managers to actively monitor what is going on in their business “on the ground”. They will therefore often be called upon to become engaged in situations which may lead to or become disciplinaries or grievances (by way of example).

    Training is vital for keeping your managers up to speed, and our employment law solicitors can provide just that. We have a range of modules available as part of our Adapt Training programme, where we can provide personalised employment law and HR training to your employees.

    Make an enquiry Download our brochure

Quick contact form

Submit an enquiry and one of our team of experts will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your needs.

Or call the employment law team on 01522 515987

Oliver Tasker, Wilkin Chapman LLP
Partner & Head of Employment Oliver Tasker 01522 515987 Lincoln
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