Tim Russell Tim Russell - Employment Law Consultant  
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I provide services to clients on all aspects of Employment Law including ( initiating or defending ) Employment tribunals (unfair/wrongful dismissal) and TUPE as well as issues which may or do result in Civil Litigation whether arising out of employment law disputes or otherwise eg disputed debts. I regularly deal with e.g .County Court disputes and High Court injunction applications as well as drafting restrictive covenants in the fist place and have acted for clients at , and or presided ,over , more than 500 Employment Tribunal ( ET ) cases. I advise on proposed settlement agreement, employment / service contracts, board room disputes, discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010 and TUPE and redundancy claims and all aspects of contentious or non-contentious law. I draft employment policies and handbooks as well as reviewing them to reflect recent legislation (e.g SMCR for the financial services industry ) and deal regularly with disciplinary issues sometimes to assist employees but more often for employees and to include internal appeals.

I do not undertake conditional fees but am content to give an initial opinion without charge. After that and subject to any conflict my fixed hourly charge is £195 per hour (and I would argue I work efficiently and effectively given my experience and having qualified as a practising solicitor in 1985 ) or a fixed fee by agreement. A typical and straightforward ET claim might cost some £5,000 in total fees based on a 2 day hearing . From initial institution to the conclusion of a final hearing or settlement if earlier. If a fixed fee then this would be a maximum fee whatever the circumstances and so an early settlement would mean a lower fee.

But if an hourly rate then fees would be charged (by agreement) on a stage by stage basis . I would in such circumstances expect initial advice on a claim to cost around 350 , drafting a claim or defence to cost around 550 , any preliminary hearing around 600 ( less if by telephone) , the interlocutory stages from there to Trial around 2,250 ( to include disclosure and preparing bundles and drafting and agreeing witness statements and schedules of loss where appropriate as well as correspondence on the case between the parties and Tribunal ) and then the hearing itself . The cost of that would depend on the complexity and length of the hearing but typically 525 a day plus any hearing preparation needed. I do not charge for any disbursements under 50 and if over that I only charge at cost and by agreement . Finally I do not charge VAT .

I am happy to be part of a competitive tender and or give a quote on fees and once instructed will always respond to any query and or email within 24 hours . 365 days a year. If my advice is delayed I will not make any charge for it.

If asked to assist a client with an Employment Settlement Agreement I will do so within any fee contribution provided by the employer / former employer seeking the settlement agreement. Unless otherwise agreed in advance.

If I am asked to assist on a particular matter where I am not an expert I will inform you of this in advance but will always try and introduce my clients ( if they wish and without charge ) to someone who is . If however I do act on your behalf I will always undertake the work myself other than where you ask me to get my HR colleague to assist and I commit to providing a responsive and personal service to include a substantive response to any query within 24 hours of receipt of email instruction .

With any litigation including an unfair dismissal claim I would normally spilt any fee into stages and would wish to agree this with a client in advance . If a fixed fee is not agreed I will send an account at the end of a particular project or by way of an interim monthly bill if sooner other than where agreed with my client.

I do not hold a client account and do not seek any fees in advance of undertaking any work but before doing so (i.e. starting work ) will usually wish to agree the/any fee structure.

My fees include VAT ( so individual clients save 20% by instructing me rather than most other solicitors who will charge VAT ) and I do not charge any disbursements other than expenses agreed with my clients and or the disbursements incurred exclusively for my client over 50. Such as a large amount of photocopying. When disbursements are charged this is at cost.

As I am a sole practitioner I carry out all the work needed myself other than by agreement with you . My experience is set out in my Cv [ link to cv] . I do have full Solicitors Professional indemnity insurance ( effected through Lockton Companies LLP the details of which are available upon request ) covering me and therefore my clients up to 2 million . Giving my clients peace of mind .

However I have an HR expert who is able to assist me on eg company handbooks , payroll and other HR issues . She has worked effectively with me for over 25 years. I also have access to Barristers who I respect and who I might sometimes recommend to clients where they might be assisted by the use of Counsel . E.g. where they are available at less costs than me for the advocacy at an ET hearing.

As I am an Employment Judge I am not permitted to carry out any work relating to a case which is or may be heard in the Central London Employment Tribunal where I sit as a fee paid judge.

Tim Russell
Tel 07767 646 656

Case of the Month
Atif v Dolce & Gabbana
The Atif v Dolce & Gabbana case reminds employers that in a discrimination case the burden of proof can easily pass from Claimant to Respondent. If the tribunal finds that the Claimant has shown facts that raise an inference of discrimination, the Respondent has to prove that discrimination was not the reason for any detrimental treatment. Bearing in mind the likelihood that a respondent employer will be vicariously liable for the acts of its employees (including those guilty of discrimination) it is a reminder of the importance of having good EOPs in place and ensuring they are followed to minimise company exposure to an ET complaint.
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