Employment Tribunal Claims Unfair / Constructive Dismissal Fees - Employees

We set out below our pricing structure for acting on behalf of employers defending bringing claims for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal against an employer in the Employment Tribunal. Our charges are calculated on hourly rates and the actual cost will depend upon the amount of time spent on the case.

Our hourly rates range from between £300 and £425 plus VAT depending on seniority and our paralegals will charge between £150 and £185 plus VAT.

Charges for bringing Employment Tribunal claims will depend on a number of factors, including the type of claim (e.g. simple unfair dismissal or complex discrimination or whistleblowing), the number of witnesses involved and the likely length of the final hearing. The figures set out below are based on a claim which proceeds all the way through to a final hearing. The vast majority of claims will settle at some time before the hearing, and so costs will vary according to whether settlement is achieved and, if so, when.

Our indicative pricing for bring and defending Employment Tribunal Claims is as follows:

  • Low complexity case: £10,000 to £20,000 plus VAT to (1-2 day final hearing)
  • Medium complexity case:  £20,000 to £50,000 plus VAT (3-5 day final hearing)
  • High complexity case: over £50,000 to £150,000 plus VAT.

Factors increasing the complexity of a case may include:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
  • Claims where there are multiple parties
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
  • Dealing with opponents who are litigants in person
  • Where there are complex preliminary issues and the requirement for preliminary hearing(s) such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
  • Where there is complex and voluminous documentation
  • Where there are numerous witnesses

What is included?

The indicative fees set out above cover the work in relation to the following key stages of an action:

  • 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);
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation (known as Early Conciliation) where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing the claim;
  • Reviewing and advising on the response from the employer;
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
  • Preparing a schedule of loss;
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing, including instructing a barrister;
  • Exchanging documents with the employer and agreeing a bundle of documents;
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
  • Preparing bundles of documents for court hearings;
  • Reviewing and advising on witness statements;
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list; and
  • Preparation for and attendance at a Final Hearing, including (in some cases) instructions to a barrister.

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages above are not required, our fee may be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged, depending on your individual needs.

The fees set out above would not ordinarily include any enforcement proceedings (where necessary) following a successful Employment Tribunal claim, nor an appeal you may wish to make against the judgment of the Employment Tribunal.

The above is not intended to be exhaustive lists and the specific circumstances of each case may mean that other factors will influence the complexity of each case. If a settlement is able to be reached in your matter at an early stage, our fees are likely to be significantly reduced.

There may be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing (if it is necessary for us to attend with your instructed barrister) of approximately £2,500 per day (plus VAT). The length of any Tribunal Hearing will depend on the Tribunal’s scheduling of the Hearing and the complexity of your case.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as (but not limited to) court fees or barrister’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Barrister’s Fees

The level of fee will be dictated by a number of factors including the individual barrister’s seniority, the complexity of your case and the length of the Final Hearing. Barrister's brief fees, which cover preparation and the first date of the hearing are usually between £1,000 and £3,000 plus VAT (for a very simple case) to £8,000 to £10,000 plus VAT or more (for a more complex matter).

Refresher fees for any second and subsequent days are usually between £1,00.00 plus VAT (for a junior barrister) and £5,000 plus VAT (for a senior barrister) per day.

Please note that the above is just an estimate and we would be able to discuss this with you in greater detail once we know further details about your claim.

VAT is payable on barrister’s fees in the same manner as that outlined above in respect of our fees.

Tribunal Fees

There is no longer any issue fee payable for submitting a claim within the Employment Tribunal.

Other Disbursements

There are some other disbursements that may be applicable in certain cases. Some of these disbursements are listed below:

  • Expert’s fees. If the instruction of an expert is required to provide evidence in any particular field(s), a fee would be payable for their time. This is usually in the region of around £750 - £2,000 plus VAT (if the expert is not VAT registered then VAT would not be payable) to provide a report and £500 -750 plus VAT per day for attendance at any hearing. Experts’ fees largely depend upon the nature of their instruction and the facts of the case; it is therefore difficult to estimate these at the outset; and
  • Mediator. If it appears that mediation may assist in resolving your matter, a fee would be payable for the mediator’s time if both parties agree to the mediation. These fees are usually in the region of around £1,000  - £1,500 plus VAT (if the mediator / adjudicator is not VAT registered then VAT would not be payable) for half a day, and £1,500 - £3,000 plus VAT for a full day. However, these fees can be higher depending on choice of mediator. These fees can sometimes be split between both parties also. You must also bear in mind that it is likely that a barrister will need to attend a mediation also and their fees are likely to be in a similar amount to that for attendance at a trial (outlined above).

Timescales. How long will a matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the complexity of your case and the stage at which your case is resolved.

We give you some examples below of the likely timeframes to resolution, dependent upon the time at which your case concludes:

  • If a settlement is reached during Early Conciliation (this is a specific process that must be engaged prior to submitting an Employment Tribunal claim), your case is likely to take approximately 3 - 12 weeks;
  • If a claim is issued with the Employment Tribunal, we would still seek to reach a settlement of your matter throughout the course of the proceedings and a settlement could be reached at any point  between the end of the Early Conciliation process (outlined above) and a Final Hearing (outlined below);
  • In a simple claim, proceeding to a Final Hearing is likely to take 4 – 9 months but could take longer depending on which Tribunal is dealing with the case, the state of the lists and/or if there are complicating factors;
  • In a medium complexity claim, proceeding to a Final Hearing is likely to take 6 – 12 months but could take longer than this in exceptional circumstances; and
  • In a high complexity claim, proceeding to a Final Hearing, is likely to take 8 – 24 months but could take longer than this in exceptional circumstances.

The above are just estimates and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

The time frame in which your matter is concluded will also depend upon the timeliness of responses from the Employment Tribunal which can be affected by their capacity at any given time.

Alternative Funding

You may have insurance that covers your legal costs of bringing a claim for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal, alternatively, if you are a member of a trade union or professional body, the scheme might pay or contribute to your legal fees. You should therefore check any insurance policies or memberships that you have to see if alternative funding may be available to you.

For more information on our services and funding, please call us on 020 7436 5151.