HomeSRA Transparency Rules

Wiggin LLP (“Wiggin”) is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the “SRA”) under number 420659.

The SRA’s Transparency Rules requires all solicitors to provide information of the costs associated with certain types of work. This ensures you have the information you need to make an informed choice when instructing us as your legal service provider. To access this information, please click the links below:

Employment Tribunal claims

Immigration applications and appeals

We strive to provide an excellent service to all our clients, but we recognise that on occasion things can go wrong.

Informal resolution

If you need to discuss any issue relating to the services provided by us, you are encouraged in the first instance to discuss the matter with the Partner responsible for your matter. This includes any minor concerns you may have which can help us improve the quality of our service to you in future.

Formal complaint

If you’re unable to resolve the issue using informal methods, we ask that you please contact Caroline Kean. Caroline is one of the firm’s founders and has overall responsibility for client relationship matters.

We have a written procedure in place which details how we handle formal complaints – you can review this here.

Escalating your complaint

If for any reason you aren’t satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the issue (write to: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ; or email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk; or phone 0300 555 0333). You can find out more information about their service on their website.

The Ombudsman may refer your complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority if they are not the correct body to conduct the investigation.

If you have concerns about our behaviour you can complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Further information can be found here.

If you wish to complain about a barrister you may, if you wish, make your complaint directly to that barrister’s chambers rather than via us. Barristers must have a written procedure for handling complaints and must provide it to you on request.

We will always be happy to discuss the likely costs at the outset of any new matter so that you can decide how you wish to proceed. Unless an alternative pricing structure is agreed, our fees are normally calculated by reference to the time spent working on the matter in question. The hourly rates for the members of our employment law team depend on the seniority and level of experience of each individual and currently range from £240 to £530 per hour. Further details of each member of our employment law team are available here.

Our fees for bringing and defending Employment Tribunal proceedings will depend on a number of factors including the complexity of the case, the potential value of the claim and the amount of evidence involved. As a general guide, we would normally expect that our fees associated with pursuing or defending a basic wrongful dismissal or unfair dismissal claim where the final hearing is listed for one day to be in the range of £20,000 – £30,000. If the final hearing is listed for more than one day we would typically expect our fees to increase by approximately £10,000 – £15,000 for each additional day.

Please note that these figures are purely for guidance purposes and exclude disbursements (see below). We will of course provide a more accurate estimate of our potential fees once we have further details of the particular case. Factors which may affect the complexity (and therefore cost) of a case include:

  • whether it is necessary to deal with any preliminary issues (e.g. disputes over whether or not the claim was brought within the applicable time limit);
  • whether it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend the claim and/or to provide or request further information;
  • the number of witnesses and documents;
  • whether or not the claimant is represented or acting as a litigant in person;
  • whether the case involves more complex legal issues, such as discrimination, TUPE or whistleblowing; and
  • the approach of the claimant and/or their representative (including whether there is any unreasonable, misconceived or vexatious behaviour).

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The main third party cost associated with an Employment Tribunal claim is the cost of instructing a barrister (known as Counsel) to represent you at the hearing. Counsel’s fees are normally made up of a ‘brief fee’ (which includes the preparation time and the costs of the first day of the hearing) and a daily ‘refresher’ rate for each additional day of the hearing. The level of Counsel’s fees will depend on the seniority of the barrister but the brief fee is likely to be in the range £1,750 – £15,000 and the daily refresher between £1,250 and £4,000.

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 the merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and is 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, this is likely to reduce the overall cost.

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, the case is likely to take 1-12 weeks. If the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, it is likely to take 9-12 months depending on how long it takes the Employment Tribunal to schedule the date of the hearing. 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.

Please note that all fees and costs shown above are exclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT) which will be added where applicable to each invoice. Our rates are reviewed annually on 1 April each year. If the rate applicable to a particular matter is varied as a result of the annual review, you will be notified in writing at the time.

We will always be happy to discuss the likely costs at the outset of any new matter so that you can decide how you wish to proceed. Unless an alternative pricing structure is agreed, our fees are normally calculated by reference to the time spent working on the matter in question. We are happy to discuss the prospect of a fixed fee. Our immigration consultant, Darren Stevenson’s hourly rate is £435. His profile can be viewed here.

Our likely fees for the preparation and submission of immigration applications will depend on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case and relevant immigration law, the nature of evidence required to meet the Immigration Rules, whether the application involves a degree of urgency and whether there are any dependent family members included. Most cases will be charged at between £3000 and £10,000, however it may be necessary to exceed this fee range for a case with particularly complex circumstances or which involves a novel area of law. Conversely a relatively straightforward matter, or advice on a discreet subject may be charged at a lower amount than the range above. We will endeavour to provide an estimate as soon as practicable after we have had an initial consultation.

Key stages

The fee range set out above covers all the work in relation to the submission and resolution of an immigration application:

  • taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the merits of relevant immigration applications (this may be revisited throughout the matter and is subject to change);
  • providing detailed advice as regards the specific legal and evidential requirements of the chosen immigration application;
  • providing advice and assistance in respect of the documentary evidence required to accompany an immigration application, including liaison in respect of documentation which may require revision or amendment;
  • preparing the application for submission, including collation of the required evidence, guidance in respect of the relevant application forms and processes, and the drafting of a detailed letter of legal representation;
  • continuing liaison in respect of any decision, including advice on any imposed conditions or requirements, and dealing with adverse decisions, including the lodging of an administrative review, or providing advice in respect of appealable decisions.

How long will my matter take?

The timeframe to resolve an immigration application is highly variable, and depends on a number of factors, in particular the type of immigration application being made and the availability of any priority services. We are able to work quickly and apply without delay assuming the required evidence is available, however the decision timeframe then rests with the Home Office; some types of application can be resolved in less than a week others can take many months. We will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. In most cases it is more practical for the immigration applicant to pay application charges, which can include:

  • Home Office fees and fees for premium filing services;
  • the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

The various level of Home Office fee can be viewed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table

Details on the Immigration Health Surcharge can be viewed here:

https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application/how-much-pay

There may be other costs which can arise which are usually paid by us on your behalf, these can include:

  • Document translation;
  • Counsel’s fees;
  • Tribunal fees;
  • Medical or other professional reports.

Please note that all fees and costs shown above are exclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT) which will be added where applicable to each invoice. Our rates are reviewed annually on 1 April each year. If the rate applicable to a particular matter is varied as a result of the annual review, you will be notified in writing at the time.