HR Cost Information

This page sets out the basis on which we will charge for the provision of advice and representation to employers in relation to defending claims before the Employment Tribunal brought by an employee for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal.

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This note is a guide for you, in relation to “ordinary” unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal claims in the Employment Tribunal.

If you choose to engage us, we will of course discuss with you what work needs to be undertaken, and the likely estimate of associated costs. Please do contact us to discuss this further.

The estimated figures below are not quotes, and they exclude disbursements (explained below). The estimated fees also do not cover more complex claims or those that are not unfair dismissal claims (such as discrimination claims). Those potential claims are likely to be more expensive than the estimated costs outlined below.

We would also encourage you to consider other funding options that may be available (such as cover under an insurance policy).

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal depends on the circumstances of the particular case. Accordingly, the fees below are merely a guide, to highlight our usual rates and to give approximate details:

Simple case: £10,000 to £30,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £30,000 to £45,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £45,000 upwards (excluding VAT)

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
  • If the claim or any aspects of the claim are conducted in the county court
  • 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)
  • Attendance at preliminary hearings or tribunal hearings
  • Attendance at meetings
  • Mediation or arbitration, or negotiation in settlement discussions
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if there is a dismissal after blowing the whistle on the employer
  • Allegations of discrimination, whistleblowing, deduction from wages, or breach of contract
  • Any other additional claims or defences which are not linked to the (wrongful or unfair) dismissal

Costs may also be decreased by a variety of factors, such as completion of the matter before the hearing stage, the need to only review a limited number of documents, or a fewer number of hearing days, or (in exceptional cases) the other side paying for some of the fees. If the case relates to any other issues, apart from wrongful dismissal or unfair dismissal, this will also impact upon cost levels.

For court hearings, we would inform you of the precise fees in advance of the hearing. For “simple” unfair dismissal cases, we would generally expect a hearing time of two to three days, depending on the complexity of your case. However, if the case involves multiple issues and/or witnesses, it may be listed for significantly longer.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, for example barristers or third party experts. You will be responsible for the sums charged by third parties, and you would be invoiced for these (whether by us or directly by them).

Barristers fees vary, depending upon their area of expertise, experience and other factors such as the amount of work that is undertaken. A general estimate for a junior barrister is a fee of between £200 plus VAT to £500 plus VAT per hour (depending on experience of the advocate). If it is necessary to incur disbursement fees, we would discuss this with you, and the potential costs in this regard.

Key stages

The range of fees set out above is intended to address the work in relation to the following key stages of a “typical” unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal 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)
  • 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

Fees may change depending upon the stages set out above. There may also be additional or different stages, and so we will confirm the level of fees to be incurred in each occasion. For some/all elements of your claim, you may wish to handle the matters yourself and only seek our advice in relation to some of the stages. If this is the case, we would discuss this with you and the costs involved.

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 specific circumstances, and the stage at which your case is resolved. If the claim proceeds to a Tribunal Hearing, the timescale is determined by the dates that are set by the Employment Tribunal, and could take in the region of twelve months or longer. 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.