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Employment Tribunal: Range of Costs

The range of services we provide are available at fixed fees or by hourly rates, and depend upon individual circumstances and the nature /complexity of each case.  A breakdown of typical costs in relation to bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are detailed below.  If you have any queries about any of our fees, please do not hesitate to call us on 0113 357 1290 to speak to either Simon or Amanda, or click on the Partners tab to find out more about us.

Most cases are settled without the need for a trial before an Employment Tribunal and we work hard at all times to avoid unnecessary expenditure.  Each case we handle is different and as such it is difficult to give exact figures for the costs involved, but by way of an example, our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are listed below.

In estimating likely costs we are required to assume that the case actually reaches and is heard at a trial.

  • Simple case: £5,000 to £7,500 (excluding VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £7,500 to £12,500 (excluding VAT)
  • High complexity case: £12,500 to £25,000 (or above in exceptional circumstances) (excluding VAT)

Please note that the above are estimates only. It is not an agreement to a fixed fee and will be subject to the complexity of the case and the fee earners involved (who will be identified in the Client Engagement letter). Factors that could make a case more complex include:

  • 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 and/or against a number of parties;
  • Making or defending a costs application;
  • Difficulty taking instructions and/or changing your instructions or acting differently from the original basis of instruction;
  • Other parties involved and their advisers not co-operating and/or not acting reasonably and promptly;
  • You adopting an unreasonable position during negotiations or seek terms which are unlikely to be agreed or conceded;
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties), whether the claims are brought in time (jurisdiction issues) or whether the Employment Tribunal is the correct tribunal/court for the case to be heard;
  • The number of witnesses and documents;
  • A number of different clams being brought at the same time;
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer; or
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal (or otherwise).

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim which are:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this will be kept under review throughout the matter and is subject to change);
  • Entering into ACAS pre-conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing the claim or response;
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the other party;
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
  • Discussing options/tactics with you throughout;
  • Considering and preparing a schedule of loss;
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing;
  • Dealing with disclosure of documents, including liaising with you, exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing and preparing a bundle of documents;
  • Drafting witness statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and cast list;
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel if appropriate;
  • Liaising and corresponding with you, the Employment Tribunal and the other side throughout

The stages set out above are an indication of the stages but if some are not required, the fee will be reduced. Alternatively, you may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages which we are happy to discuss with you.

Alternative funding sources

You may have other funding options available to you, such as cover under an insurance policy and/or membership of a trade union. We will discuss these options with you at an early stage but if you feel you have access to alternative funding arrangements please make this known to us.

Subject to the merits of a particular claim, alternative funding options may be explored (where appropriate) on request.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter including but not limited to those that are payable to third parties, such as counsel’s fees, any travel expenses and registered mail/couriers where appropriate. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process and we will invoice you for those disbursements. VAT is usually payable on disbursements and this will be set out in our invoices to you.

Hearings will usually be undertaken by us but where we think it appropriate we will recommend using Counsel which will be discussed in advance. We estimate that Counsel’s fees would be as follows:

Brief fee (for reviewing papers, preparation for hearing and first day of hearing): £750 – £3,000 (excluding VAT)

Daily rate (rate for each day thereafter): £750 – £3,000 per day for attending a Hearing (excluding VAT)

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.

ACAS early conciliation may last up to 4 weeks and can be extended by up to 2 weeks by the ACAS conciliator where they believe that there is a reasonable prospect of reaching settlement by the end of the extended conciliation period and both parties agree.

If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, a typical 2-day unfair dismissal hearing in the Employment Tribunal would currently expect to be heard within 6 – 12 months depending on Tribunal resources.
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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.

For more information on the employment tribunal system please visit:

For more information on bringing a claim see:

For more information on what to do if you are being taken to an employment tribunal please see:

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