Employment law & discrimination

Our employment law solicitors pride themselves on providing expert advice to employees to resolve all types of workplace and employment issues. For advice on any kind of dispute with your employer call our legal advisers on 0203 816 9302. Our employment law specialists advise clients nationally from our offices in London, Manchester, Bolton, Wigan, St Helens and Leigh.

Our employment law solicitors aim to achieve the highest quality of service and the best possible results for our clients. We are on hand to deal with any concern or dispute that may arise at work and provide advice on the options available to you.

Where employment disputes cannot be resolved within the workplace our solicitors can provide expert advice and assistance in dealing with employment claims through the Employment Tribunals and Civil Courts.

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Funding your employment law claim

Many people would prefer to instruct a solicitor to assist them with a dispute involving employment law, however the thought of the costs that might be associated with this help can be off-putting. Adverts promising working on a 'no win, no fee' arrangement are frequently shown on TV, however it is less widely known that this type of funding can also be available for different areas of law, including disputes in the employment tribunal.


A 'no win, no fee' type agreement involves a firm acting for a client without up front payment in return for a percentage of the damages awarded which are recovered at the conclusion of the case. This type of funding is popular with employees who do not own their own home and have recently been dismissed or made redundant and therefore do not have the funds necessary to instruct a solicitor privately. 


In addition to this there are several ways in which we can help an employee looking to resolve a dispute with their employer or pursue a claim in the employment tribunal, as set out below.

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No win no fee employment law advice

There has been a huge rise in the last few years of solicitors acting for clients under alternative fee structures which are variously known as ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements, or conditional fee/damages based agreements. These terms all boil down to the same principle: there is no initial upfront payment and legal fees are only recovered if the claim is successful.

‘No win, no fee’ funding is popular with employees who do not own their own home and have recently been dismissed or made redundant and therefore do not have the funds necessary to instruct a solicitor privately. We are often able to offer assistance under ‘no win, no fee’ agreements after carrying out a review of the paperwork available and considering factors such as the size and solvency of the employer, as well as the value of the claim. We have a strong track record of successfully recovering compensation from employers when acting under this type of funding, and helping employees whose claims might never have been able to proceed due to their financial circumstances.

How can we assist?

If you believe you have a claim would like us to consider acting for you on a "no-win, no fee" basis, please do not hesitate to contact us on the number below.

Case Study 1: We acted on behalf of an employee who worked as a carer and was subjected to a series of detriments as a result of blowing the whistle on her employer's unethical practices. We issued a claim on her behalf and were successful in recovering £17,500 as well as the costs incurred by our client in seeking legal advice.

Case Study 2: Our client was unlawfully discriminated against due to her pregnancy whilst employed by a large supermarket chain. Following her resignation, we successfully negotiated compensation to enable her to retrain and pursue opportunities elsewhere.

Case Study 3: Our client was a long-standing employee of an organisation with a national reputation who was summarily dismissed following a minor health and safety breach. We settled the claim in our client's favour without the need for her to attend court.

Payment on an hourly rate

A solicitor’s hourly rate usually reflects their level of experience and seniority. Paying a solicitor on an hourly rate to deal with the whole of a claim in the Tribunal is the most traditional method of funding. It secures you comprehensive assistance from day one, but you will need to consider whether the cost of proceeding with a claim outweighs the value of it. Typically speaking, a claim for unfair dismissal will cost at least £3,000 plus VAT and associated costs, such as barristers and Tribunal fees. If your claim far exceeds this value, and you are prepared to accept the risk that it may not succeed, then this could be a good method of funding for you.  You should however be aware that only in a small minority of cases are legal costs recoverable from your opponent.

Insurance policy

Everyone who owns a house will have taken out buildings insurance, and as part of this type of cover you may also have the benefit of a legal expenses insurance policy which can sometimes cover legal assistance in the Employment Tribunal. You can check this by looking at your policy terms, or contacting your insurer directly.

You do have freedom of choice to select the solicitor you would like to instruct, and we have extensive experience of acting for clients with this type of policy. Upon becoming aware of a claim, you should contact your insurance company as soon as you can and advise that you wish to instruct your own solicitor to assist with the claim. We are able to liaise with insurers on your behalf to quickly secure cover.

Fixed price employment law

If a particular piece of work is needed then it can be particularly useful to know the legal costs upfront. We are able to offer a fixed fee service for many types of employment law services including drafting of contracts and handbooks, initial face-to-face meetings to discuss problems within the workplace, the preparation of a Tribunal claim form and other court documentation, negotiation through ACAS Early Conciliation as well as advice upon settlement agreements.

Civil legal advice - legal aid

Although the scope of the assistance we are able to offer under the civil legal advice scheme has been greatly reduced as a result of recent legal changes, Stephensons are one of only three providers in the country who can offer help under this scheme. Employees who have been subjected to unlawful discrimination and who are in receipt of certain benefits or on a low income can claim free legal advice and help. The first point of contact should be the Civil Legal Advice team, who can assess your financial eligibility and transfer your case through to us. 

Settlement agreements

On occasions when it is essential to receive legal advice for a document to be binding, an employer may offer to contribute towards legal fees. Settlement agreements are a good example of this, as frequently they contain a clause in which an employer agrees to meet the cost of the employee taking advice upon the terms from an independent legal adviser. It is very important that you are aware of the implications of the wording you are agreeing to, as sometimes agreements can contain hidden indemnities and restrictive covenants which can be fully explained by your solicitor. Our fees for advising upon this type of agreement range from £250 plus VAT upwards, depending on the complexity of it and your individual circumstances.

What should I do next?

If you wish to discuss any of our employment law services in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 816 9302, you can also complete an online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.

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As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.

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As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.