Pricing information for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims in the employment tribunal
First of all, you should check your insurance policy or policies to see whether you have insurance cover and contact your insurer to confirm if you are covered for bringing or defending a claim.
We do not work on a conditional fee or damages based agreement, ("no win no fee").
We do not usually offer a free initial interview or consultation.
Our pricing for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal employment tribunal claims and an indication of the costs is below.
We aim to settle employment disputes and many claims do settle, saving time and money while providing certainty. However, there are procedures along the way.
There are key stages in bringing or defending an employment tribunal claim:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change).
- Pre-claim conciliation (ACAS Early Conciliation): this is before a claim is brought to explore whether a settlement can be reached. We do not usually act at this stage because it is much simpler and more cost effective for you to deal directly with ACAS, at no cost to you. However, we are pleased to advise you or to negotiate if you would like and, if so, we will charge you based on the time spent.
- Preparing your claim (outlining the nature of the dispute and your case) or response (setting out your defence) and taking your instructions on it. Please note that, we are happy to provide you with a draft claim or draft response but, in order to save costs, we do request that you complete the required forms yourself and file the documents yourself online at the employment tribunal.
- Reviewing and advising on the claim of the response from the other side.
- Exploring settlement, taking your instructions and negotiating a settlement throughout the process
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss. The claimant has to prepare a schedule setting out what losses have been incurred as a result of the dismissal.
- Preparing for a preliminary hearing or case
Preliminary hearings generally take place if the case is complicated or if there is a discrimination or other claim or issue to be decided as well.
We generally instruct a barrister (Counsel) to attend the hearing (see below). As well as improving the service you receive, it is more cost effective. The expense of Counsel will depend on the level of qualification, the preparation time and the length of the hearing.
If we attend, the preliminary hearing, the additional cost at the hourly rate will depend on the length of the hearing, the waiting time and the travelling time to and from the hearing.
- Listing your documents, exchanging documents
with the other party.
You will have to provide the other party with your documentary evidence. This is generally done by making a list of the documents and then sending copies of the documents to the other party. If you are a claimant you will also have to produce documentary evidence about your attempts at finding alternative employment or work (mitigation).
- Taking witness statements, drafting the
statements and agreeing their content with the
witnesses. The parties have to have to provide
each other with a written statement setting out
their witness evidence. The witness statement is
used at the tribunal hearing.
In order to save you costs, we may ask you to prepare a first draft of your witness statement.
- Reviewing and advising you on the other side's witness statements.
- Preparing and/or agreeing the files (bundles of the documents) to be used at the hearing.
- Agreeing a list of the issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
- Corresponding with you, the other party and the employment tribunal.
- Preparation for the final hearing, including instructing Counsel and discussion with Counsel. It is cost effective to instruct Counsel to attend the hearing.
The stages set out above are an indication and other work may be needed. If some of stages above are not required, no fees for them will be charged.
Please note that we are not pensions or tax experts and our costs do not include any advice you may require in these areas.
Our pricing for bringing or defending claims for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal is based on an hourly rate of £300 plus VAT of 20 per cent (£60). This is £360 inclusive of VAT. Our charges depend on how complex the case is and the number of hours required.
We have provided a range of likely costs below. These amounts include VAT. The costs could be higher or lower, depending on the complexity or the time spent.
You should be aware that the employment tribunal does not usually award costs, so you are unlikely to recover any costs from the other party along the way or if you are successful.
Indication of range of potential costs
5,000 - 10,000
10,000 - 15,000
15,000 - 45,000
The range of costs is provided as an indication of cost based on our experience of previous cases.
There are a number of factors that affect the complexity of a claim and can even take it outside the range of costs above. These include:
- making or defending an interim application, for example, to amend claims or defences or to provide further information about a claim
- cases which are either brought by or defended by litigants in person
- the strategy and/or the level of co-operation of the other party's representatives
- making or defending a costs application
- an adjournment
- difficult preliminary issues such as whether or not the claimant is an employee, whether the employment tribunal is able to hear the claim (has jurisdiction) or, unless it is agreed, whether the claimant is disabled if a disability claim is included
- the number of documents
- the number of witnesses
- whether an expert witness is required
- an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
- other legal claims are included such as allegations of discrimination, harassment or victimisation which are linked to the dismissal
Every case is different and one size does not fit all. Medium or highly complex claims generally include claims of wrongful dismissal and/or other claims. Examples of high complexity claims are those which include allegations of discrimination or whistleblowing.
We would generally expect a simple case to take 1 to 2 days, a medium complexity case to take around 2 to 4 days and a high complexity case 5 or more days.
You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages or issues. This can also be arranged to meet your indeividual needs.
We don not usually conduct employment tribunal hearings. There will be an additional charge for Counsel attending a tribunal hearing - see "Expenses or disbursements" below. Generally, we would allow 1 to 5 days depending on the number of issues and complexity of your case.
Expenses or disbursements
Disbursements are expenses related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as courier charges, outsourced photocopying or travel costs. These are set out separately on the invoice and are usually subject to VAT.
Counsel's fees depend on experience of the advocate and a range of estimates for three levels of experience is below, including VAT
|Length of hearing||(1) £||(2) £||(3) £|
|½ day (e.g. preliminary hearing)||660||2,100||3,000|
|Full day -||900||3,000||3,600|
|Second and subsequent days (refresher)||540||1,500||2,100|
(1) recent qualification
(2) 3 - 10 years' qualification
(3) senior - over 10 years' qualification but not a Silk or QC
A QC will be more expensive.
We handle the payment of most expenses on your behalf to ensure a smoother process but if employment tribunal fees are re-introduced, you will have to pay these yourself direct.
How long will the matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved.
If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take up to four weeks, depending on ACAS. It is the Employment Tribunal that lists hearings, and as this is outside our control, it is difficult to say but it can take between 6 and 12 months and sometimes even longer. We will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.