Costs and fees – Employment services

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Understanding an Employment Tribunal Claim

The Employment Tribunal is responsible for hearing claims by those who feel that someone such as an employer or potential employer has treated them unlawfully.  Examples of unlawful treatment claims that we regularly deal with include:

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Discrimination
  • Unfair deductions from pay
  • Breach of contract (including wrongful dismissal)

We set out below are the services that we provide within an Employment Tribunal claim.  The steps needed in any case are individual to the matter and the timescales may vary depending on circumstances.  Any steps and timescales set out below are those which apply to a matter that does not have particular complications.  If your matter does have such complications, we will always inform you immediately and will discuss the potential consequences both in respect of the chances of success and the potential costs.

  • 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); 14 days
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Preparing bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

Key Stages in the Claim with Timeframes

The Key Stages in the claim and an estimate of the potential timescales are set out below:

Pre-Claim Negotiation; up to 3 months

Final hearing; 6 to 12 months

Explanation of Costs and Fees

The potential costs for either bringing or defending claims in the Employment Tribunal, based on hourly rates, are as follows:

Unfair Dismissal

Average case: £6,000 to £12,000 (plus VAT of £12,00 – £2,400)

Complex case £12,000 to £25,000 (plus VAT of £2,400 – £5,000)

Highly complex case £25,000 + (plus VAT of £5,000)

Wrongful Dismissal

Simple case: £4,000 to £7,500 (plus VAT of £800 – £1,500)

Medium complexity case: £7,500 to £12,500 (plus VAT of £1,500 – £2,500)

High complexity case: £12,500+ (plus VAT of £2,500)

In both types of matter there will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £1,750 per day (plus £350 VAT). On average, hearings are 2 – 3 days, however, depending the on the complexity of your case this can range from as little as 3 hours up to 10 days.


In addition to our charges there are likely to be expenses that are payable to third parties or incurred by us such as travel expenses.  We handle the payment of any expenses on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The most likely expenses are:

  • Motoring expenses, which will be charged at 45p per mile.
  • Train fare expenses as relevant.
  • If you require a barrister to attend the hearing on your behalf, their fees are estimated at being between £1,000 to £1,750 per day (plus VAT of £200 to £350) depending on his/her experience. This is including the barrister’s hearing preparation.

Factors Which Make the Case More Complex

Our estimate of costs and timescales do not include matters which can arise and make the case a more complex one.  Such matters include:

  • If it becomes necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing       claim
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed upon by the parties)
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If the claim is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. an allegation of dismissal relating to whistleblowing
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

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