Employment Tribunal
Bringing and Defending Claims for Unfair, Wrongful or Constructive Dismissal

The costs of pursuing or defending an employment tribunal claim for unfair, wrongful or constructive dismissal will depend on a number of factors, not all of which can be anticipated at the outset of the matter. Costs will therefore vary on a case by case basis. Please Contact us to discuss your individual circumstances and receive an accurate estimate of costs.

Our Estimated Costs

Simple case (e.g. one day ET hearing with no more than two witnesses): £4,000.00 to £10,000.00 plus VAT.

Medium complexity case (e.g. two day ET hearing with three or more witnesses): £8,000.00 to £14,000.00 plus VAT.

High complexity case: £15,000.00-£25,000.00 plus VAT.

Our fees are calculated by reference to an hourly rate and are dependent upon the experience of the solicitor that spends time working on your case. The hourly rates of the solicitor who will be dealing with your employment matter range from £300.00 to £400.00 an hour.

Which category your case falls into, in terms of complexity, will be dependent upon some or all of the following:-

  • The complexity of the specific law relating to the case;
  • The volume of evidence that is likely to be relied upon by both parties (i.e. the employee and employer); and/or
  • The number of witnesses that will be called by both parties.

In order to assist in determining what category your case is likely to fall into, we list some factors below that are likely to make a case more complex and are thereby likely to increase the fee payable. It may also be the case that the fees payable will increase if there are unexpected complexities or if, for example, you do not follow the advice that we provide.

Factors that are likely to make a case more complex are as follows:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend a claim or response or to provide further information about an existing claim or response;
  • Making or defending a costs application;
  • Complex preliminary issues such as, for example, in circumstances where there is a dispute as to whether the employee is disabled, whether the Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the case or whether the claim was brought in time;
  • A greater volume of evidence and/or number of witnesses;
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if the employee is dismissed after blowing the whistle on the employer; and/or
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal. If the employee believes there has been discrimination against him/her, our costs estimate may increase if there is additional work involved.
  • Having to make or defend a costs application.

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.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees and counsel’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Counsel’s Fees

Where it becomes necessary to instruct Counsel (either to draft pleadings/legal documents in complex cases or for advocacy at any hearing), you should factor in the following fees:-

For work done prior to the hearing by Counsel:

Charged at an hourly rate of between £125.00 to £500.00 an hour plus VAT depending on the seniority of the Counsel instructed.

For undertaking advocacy at hearing (brief fees):

Between £1,000.00 plus VAT per day (for a very simple case) and £8,000.00 plus VAT per day (for a more complex matter). Fee will include preparation for hearing.

You should also factor in any disbursements Counsel may need to charge, for example, accommodation fees/cost of travel.

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.

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 to £2,000 + VAT (if the expert is not VAT registered then VAT would not be payable) to provide a report and £500 to £750 + 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/Adjudicator fees: If it appears that mediation or adjudication may assist in resolving your matter, a fee would be payable for the mediator’s/adjudicator’s time if both parties agree to the mediation/adjudication. These fees are usually in the region of around £1,000 + VAT to £1,500 (if the mediator / adjudicator is not VAT registered then VAT would not be payable) for half a day, and £1,500 to £3,000 + VAT for a full day. However, these fees can be higher. 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/adjudication also and their fees are likely to be in a similar region to that for attendance at a trial (outlined above).

Court Fees

There is no Court fee payable for submitting a claim within the Employment Tribunal.

Key stages

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

  • Taking initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising on merits and likely compensation to be awarded to the employee (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.
  • Instructing Counsel to draft pleadings/legal documents in complex cases
  • Drafting the Claim Form or Response (in less complex cases).
  • Reviewing and advising on Claim Form or Response from other party.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing including instructing Counsel.
  • Preparing a List of Documents and exchanging documents with the other party.
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements.
  • Preparing or considering a Schedule of Loss.
  • Preparing a bundle of documents for use at the hearing and agreeing the bundle with your opponent.
  • Preparing and agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list and agreeing with your opponent.
  • Preparation of Brief to Counsel.
  • Preparation for and Attendance at Final Hearing.

The stages set out above are an indication of what is required and if some of the stages above are not required, the costs will be at the lower end of the fee range quoted above. We will always provide you with an individual cost estimate at the outset of dealing with your case once we have details of what it involves.

The fee range quoted above would not ordinarily include:-

  • Advising and representing you in any appeal.
  • Advising the employee in any enforcement proceedings which may become necessary or the employer in any such proceedings brought by the employee.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depend on a number of factors, largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. A settlement may be reached after just a few weeks for example. Alternatively, if a claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, the case is likely to be heard around six to eight months from the date the claim was lodged. 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.

Please utilise the link below to view the profile of our employment law solicitor:

Charlotte Buck