Please note that disbursements will be charged separately. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as visa fees. Disbursements can include the following:
* Interpreter fees. Time spent with an interpreter can vary from case to case/individual to individual. We will be able to advise you of fees for interpreter services if they are required before undertaking work on your case. Most interpreters will charge by the hour, and we will be able to give you an estimate of the time required; some cases are complex and would require more time with an interpreter, such as 10 to 15 hours, other cases that are more straightforward, may only require 2 to 5 hours.
* Independent expert reports e.g. medical experts. These are not required in many cases: we will let you know as soon as possible if we consider an expert report is necessary, and provide you with a quote for the expert’s fees.
* If there is an interview and we attend with you, there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses.
* Barrister fees. If your case is an appeal matter, and involves attendance at a court hearing, we will instruct a barrister on your behalf. Barrister fees can vary. We strive to instruct barristers from the area where the hearing will be taking place to avoid costly travel disbursements. We work with barristers from around the country and will seek to secure the best value for our clients without compromising on quality of representation. Occasionally we may advise that a specialist barrister is required, and this may mean covering their travel costs if they are not based in the vicinity of the court where the appeal hearing is scheduled to take place. Barristers will also charge separately for a direct consultation (ie, a meeting between you and the barrister before the hearing date to discuss your case), although these are not generally required as we will fully instruct the barrister on your behalf.
The costs quoted here do not include:
* Any Home Office fees for making the application. You will pay this to the Home Office directly as part of the application process.
* Any court/tribunal fees for appeal matters. These are paid directly to the court/tribunal when lodging your appeal.
What is included in our fees?
If you instruct us in regards to an immigration application, our fees include your initial consultation (this may be by telephone, or face to face), an assessment of your case, and advice on how best to proceed/the best application for you to make. If you do not meet the requirements to make an application we will tell you, we will also explain the merits (that is, the strengths and weaknesses) of your case to you, and if the merits are too low (that is, your application would be too weak, and we suspect it would be refused), we may decline to take your case on. If this happens we would only charge you our consultation fee, as long as the matter has not progressed further.
Preparation of the application would begin with completing an application form; usually online, although some applications can still be made using paper forms. Depending on how you have instructed us, this can be done on the telephone, via email, or in person at our offices. At the end of all Home Office application forms you will be expected to sign a declaration confirming that what has been entered on the form is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, therefore sometimes it may be necessary for us to ask you to complete the form yourself, especially if you are unable to come to our offices in person. In these instances we will do all we can to assist and support you with completion of the form, and will check it thoroughly once completed. If you can attend our offices we will complete the form for you, in your presence, asking you the various questions contained on the application form.
If you are in the UK you may have the choice of either submitting your application by post or in person (the in-person service can be subject to an extra Home Office fee which we will advise you of. Please note that some applications can only be made by post, for example, EEA applications). If submitting by post you should bring/post all your supporting documents to us, we will then ensure your application is complete and submit it to the Home Office with a cover letter from us containing representations in relation to your case. We will be named on the form as your representatives and will ask that all correspondence relating to your case be sent to us. If you opt for the in person service you will have to attend an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) application service point, where you will hand in your supporting documents to be scanned and returned to you. In this instance we will help you arrange an appointment and provide you with a bundle including our cover letter and your supporting documents, to take with you.
Whilst waiting for a decision from the Home Office we will deal with/respond to any Home Office correspondence and provide you with a copy.
When a final decision is received, we will make you aware of the same, and advise you of what (if anything) you need to do next. This is where your matter will end.
If you are making an application from outside of the UK, for example for entry clearance (that is, you want to come to the UK perhaps as a visitor or to join family) your application can only be made online. As with the in-country online application, the application is accessed via the Home Office’s website and can be partially completed and saved in an online account allowing us to access it from the UK.
We have found that communicating via email with clients based outside of the UK to be the most effective way to provide our services. If you are not in the UK we will send you a questionnaire to complete and return to us, the answers you give will allow us to complete your online application form. Once this is done we will ask you to access the form online and thoroughly check it to ensure all the information provided is correct.
You will have to collect supporting documents as described above, but should not post them to us, as your application will be submitted in your country of residence. We will ask you to show us your documents by scanning them or photographing them and emailing them to us. If your sponsor is in the UK we can of course meet with them, and they can show us any supporting documents they have. They would have to post the documents to you for submission with your application.
Once we are satisfied your application is complete we will email you a cover letter to be included with your application, which you will have to print off. We will submit your application online, book you an appointment at your closest Visa Application Centre (VAC), and contact you to pay the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge if applicable, you will then attend the VAC appointment with a printed version of the application form, your supporting documents, and our cover letter. Please note that some VACs will ask you to send your documents to the UK to be considered, but you will still need to attend an appointment at a VAC with your documents before you do this. Any postage costs incurred would be a disbursement and not included in our fees.
After submission you will have to wait for a decision. With out of country applications the Home Office contact the applicant directly and will not contact us, so you should let us know if you are sent any correspondence or contacted by telephone or email by the Home Office.
Once a decision is received, we will advise you what to do next (if anything), your matter will then be complete.
How long will my application take?
We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process your application. Current processing times can be checked here: https://www.gov.uk/visa-processing-times. Please note that consideration of applications based on human rights (that is, those based on your life with family, and/or your private life in the UK), and/or applications which are particularly complex, generally fall outside of the Home Office’s service standards, so can take longer to be decided.
We will strive to submit your application as soon as possible. You will be expected to provide supporting documents to support your application, and we will provide you with a detailed list on instruction. We would expect these documents to be provided as soon as possible, but understand that certain documents may not be available straightaway, so submission time will depend on how quickly we are supplied with the required documents. We will strive to submit your application within 1 week of being supplied with the required documents and information. In cases that require expert reports or documents from third parties (for example, Social Services, a child’s school etc.), we can ask that a document be provided by a certain date, but this may not always be possible, so the timescale for submission may be extended.
Please note that entry clearance applications are submitted in the applicant’s country of residence, therefore we are unable to submit these types of applications for you, as they must be done in person at a Visa Application Centre, via a prearranged appointment.
If your application is being made from the UK, after submission there will be a period of waiting for the Home Office to consider your application and make a decision (see above). During this time we would expect to receive correspondence from the Home Office in relation to your application; we would deal with all correspondence, replying to the Home Office as required and providing you with copies of the correspondence for your information and records. Your matter would conclude once we receive a decision on your application. Advice regarding your rights of appeal if applicable is included in our fees, however, the appeal itself and representation in relation to the appeal would be a new matter and charged separately (see appeal fees above).
Please note that the fees stated above are ‘starting from’ fees; they are for straightforward applications and appeals, more complex cases that require more work and time may be subject to a higher fee. For example, an application to extend your permission to remain in the UK, where you meet all the requirements for a successful application would be considered ‘straightforward’. A ‘complex’ case may be where you do not have current permission to remain in the UK, and cannot satisfy all the requirements. In cases such as this we may have to show that there are compelling, compassionate circumstances to be considered, an expert report, detailed representations, statements, and more time consuming preparation of the application, may be required. We can of course give you a final fee once we have more information about your specific case.
Our fees are fixed, however, on occasion matters can arise part way through your case which make it more complex and require additional work from us, in these circumstances we would charge you an additional fee. An example of a complicating matter would be if a client had an outstanding application with the Home Office, meeting all the requirements for it to be successful, but then received a criminal conviction whilst waiting for a decision, so the application would be bound to fail unless other compelling circumstances were raised.
Immigration is a complex area of law and it is impossible for us to cover all types of applications or situations above. Please contact us for specific advice.
Employment Law Cost options
We will consider the following costs options:
- Agreed fee. This will be an agreed (fixed) fee which will not be varied upwards or downwards- whatever the outcome of the case;
- No win No fee (we will need to first assess your case).
We always do our best to be as accommodating as possible, including accepting payment by instalments. This could be an ideal solution for you, especially if it enables time for a negotiated settlement to be made with your employer- which in turn can fund the balance of instalments. Further costs information about unfair/wrongful dismissal cases can be found below.
Where you are being offered a settlement agreement your employer is contributing to your legal costs, we guarantee that you will not be charged more than what your employer is prepared to contribute towards those costs for reviewing and advising you on the agreement. A typical contribution by your employer would be between £250 and £500 plus VAT.
Free initial advice
We are happy to give you a free initial assessment of your claim and discuss full costs options. Please contact us either by e-mail or by phone to book a suitable appointment time to review the options offered.
Costs in more detail for unfair dismissal cases
For routine unfair dismissal claims, we will do our best to offer you a no win- no fee option if this is your preference. This means if we successfully negotiate a settlement for you, or win your case at tribunal, the fees will typically be 25% plus VAT of any sum we recover for you. You would pay us at the end of the case, when the settlement monies have been received by you.
We will in any event offer you the option of an agreed fee rate, as mentioned above. This means the rate cannot be varied up or down (whatever the outcome of the case) and is therefore fixed in nature. Along with the option of a possible no win-no fee funding, our clients usually find these alternatives highly attractive when compared to hourly rates option.
Depending on the complexity of the case, an agreed fee rate would on average range between £850 and £2,750 plus VAT to deal with all the steps right up to, but not including issuing tribunal proceedings. This is the time period when most cases are likely to settle, and it includes fully reviewing your case, including all relevant documentation, advising you and conducting all negotiations with your employer.
If tribunal proceedings are necessary, then we would need to review the funding for this at the time. We would either carry on with the no win – no fee funding or enter an agreed (or further agreed) rate to cover the periods of the process leading up to and including the tribunal hearing. Those fees are on average between £850- £1,250 to prepare and issue the proceedings at the tribunal, and between £2,500- £4,000 plus VAT to take it right up to the tribunal hearing. It may also be necessary to instruct a barrister for the hearing who can charge on average £1,500 plus VAT for a day hearing in tribunal (including all preparation). The barrister fees are part of your disbursements and as such must be paid in advance to the hearing since they do not operate on no win no fee even where our firm is. We will always discuss this with you before instructing a barrister.
Wrongful dismissal claims are very rare. The maximum amount that can be awarded at tribunal is £25,000 and this usually involves a claim of breach of contract for non-payment of notice. If the sum claimed is higher than this, the claim would need to be brought in the civil courts, rather than employment tribunal and we would not deal with this. We are not including our fees for wrongful dismissal on this page, because it is simply not something we usually are asked to act on, and so there are no averages or specifics that we can provide.
Many cases are capable of being settled within a few weeks or even days from when we are first instructed, and so the fees can often be contained. Of course, it can take longer than this and, in some cases,, where we are entering into negotiations, this can go on for months. This is something which is not in our control as it will largely be governed by how quickly your employer responds to communications. Even where negotiations do drag on, we still have significant settlements achieved.