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Employment Tribunals for bringing or defending unfair/wrongful dismissal claims

The SRA’s Transparency Rules require us to provide costs information to employees and businesses in relation to advice and representation in the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal cases.

The information below is an outline guide to our charges for this type of work.

Costs to final hearing

The costs in a case will usually depend on the amount of work we to on a time spent basis.  The hourly rates for solicitors within our employment team range from £220 – £420 per hour, depending on the level of seniority of the lawyer undertaking the work. Work undertaken by paralegals or trainee solicitors is charged at lower rates (typically between £120 – £150 per hour). We also offer fixed fees for agreed stages of work where this is preferred by clients.

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • If it is 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 by the parties)
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
Costs ex. VAT

Simple case defined as: no preliminary hearing,  maximum of two witness statements, maximum one day Employment Tribunal hearing and limited documentation.



Medium complexity case defined as: preliminary hearing,  more than two witness statements, maximum one day Employment Tribunal hearing and significant documentation.

£10,000 - £25,000

High complexity case defined as: preliminary hearing,  large number of witness statements, multi-day Employment Tribunal hearing, inter-party applications or costs applications and significant documentation.

£25,000 +

As a guide, we would normally expect our fees in bringing or defending an employment tribunal claim to be in the region of £15,000 – £25,000 for a one-day hearing, with the costs increasing by approximately £5,000 – £8,000 for each additional day. In addition, there may be disbursements (which are mentioned further below).

The work involved in preparing for an employment tribunal essentially falls into the following stages:

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will 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 on your individual needs.

The length of time your claim takes will depend on what stage it is resolved – sometimes matters can settle before a claim is formally issued, or a matter can be settled, or struck out, before any final hearing.  Of course, fees may be lower than the estimates above where a matter is resolved before all the steps above need to be taken.

For the case to proceed to a final hearing, it may take typically between 6 months to a year, although it can take longer (particularly for more complex cases or those that are listed for several days).


Disbursements are those costs payable to third parties.  The main disbursement that may be payable is a barrister’s fees for advice and/or representation. Their level of fees will depend upon their level of seniority, but can range between £250 – £400 per hour (excluding VAT) or £1,500 to £4,000 per day (excluding VAT) for advice, drafting or attendance/representation at a hearing.

Other disbursements that can apply in some cases include fees for expert witnesses or travel costs.

You would always be consulted in advance and your approval obtained before any disbursements are incurred.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter 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 2-16 weeks depending on the situation and settlement terms. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6-24 months. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

How we can help

We, of course, have a discussion with our clients about the likely costs and scope of work at the outset in every case. As well as employment tribunal representation, we offer services for the full range of employment law matters, so would be happy to assist in any way we can.

What is VAT?

The fees quoted are exclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT) which will be added where applicable. Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax added to products and services. It is chargeable when: 

  • Supplying goods or services 
  • Taxable product or service 
  • Sold in the UK 
  • Sold by a registered VAT business, and 
  • A business activity 


VAT is applicable at a standard rate of 20%. If VAT is due on any disbursements then you will be informed prior to signing terms. 

The team

Our team has over 25 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to employment law. The team has particular expertise in tribunal work.

We have four members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Peter Bradley, Head of Corporate and Commercial Law.