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. The price depends on how complex the case is and the number of hours required.
We have provided a range of likely costs below.
This could be higher or lower, depending on the
complexity or the time spent.
The figures below include VAT.
4,500 - 8,600
8,600 - 13,000
13,000 - 36,000
The average is an estimate for a standard case and a case specific estimate can be obtained by contacting Roberta.
The range of costs is provided as an indication
of cost based on our experience of previous cases.
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) where to explore whether a settlement can be reached. It is much simpler and more cost effective for you to deal directly with ACAS, at no cost. However, we are pleased to advise you or to negotiate.
- 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 or the response from 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 management discussion. Preliminary hearings generally take place if the case is complicated or if there is a discrimination or other claim or issue to be decided. 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 and agreeing the file of documents (bundle) to be used at the hearing. 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 the files for the hearing.
- Agreeing a list of the issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
- 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 if some of stages above are not required, the fees will be reduced.
There are a number of factors that can make a case more complex 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
- an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
- allegations of discrimination, harassment or victimisation which are linked to the dismissal
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 individual needs.
There will be an additional charge for Counsel attending a tribunal hearing - see "Expenses or disbursements" below. Generally, we would allow 1 to 3 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 or outsourced photocopying.
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
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 some months. We will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.