Employment Tribunals

Our Employment team, lead by the head of department John Reid, are able to bring and defend all employment related claims, including both contractual and statutory based claims.

Under our professional conduct rules we are required to provide information to prospective clients concerning how we charge for certain employment claims. This note provides a summary of the likely range of fees at various stages. We will of course discuss the likely costs of any claim, whether brought for you or against you, in detail as part of our initial process of taking instructions. The guide below however should provide a broad introduction to the likely costs of certain employment tribunal claims.

Employment Tribunal claims

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

Simple case: £10-20,000 (excluding VAT, charged at 20%)
Medium complexity case: £20-50,000 (excluding VAT, charged at 20%)

High complexity case: £50-150,000 (excluding VAT, charged at 20%)

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

The figures above are not quotes but a realistic estimate based upon our experience of simple unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims.

In our experience claims involving discrimination or other more complex statutory rights, or claims involving allegations of whistle blowing (also known as protected disclosures), are often much more complicated and therefore more expensive to bring or defend.

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £2-5,000 per day (excluding VAT, charged at 20%) depending upon who is present from our team and the time engaged. Generally, we would allow a minimum of half a day for a very simple claim to upwards of 10 days for a very long or complex matter. Ultimately the length of time will depend very much on the complexity of your case.

Whilst these figures are intended to be a useful guide, each claim is inevitably fact specific and we will only be able to give you a more accurate cost for bringing or defending any employment claim once we have full details of the case and all the surrounding circumstances. One of our team will go through all of this with you in detail at an early stage of our being instructed to represent you.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process although we will usually expect these to be covered by you before they are paid.

Counsel’s fees estimated between £2-15,000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)

Key Stages

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

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.

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 4-12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take up to 6 months to resolve (and possibly longer at present given delays to the tribunal process caused by the COVID-19 pandemic).

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.