Transparency on pricing - Unfair and Wrongful Dismissal Claims

Employment Tribunal Costs

Our niche status means we can be flexible on costs and we are very happy to discuss and agree different methods of charging for our services including fixed or capped fees.

However, we also recognise that clients understandably like to have an idea of the range of costs that might be involved in an Employment Tribunal case.  We are also required by our Regulatory body to provide certain pricing information for reasons of transparency.  We hope the following is of help in understanding likely costs for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claims.

The costs for bringing or defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal can vary significantly depending on a number of factors.  The following information is intended to provide the likely range of costs involved for an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim.  Please also note the additional costs set out below for representation at any hearing:

Straightforward case: £2,000 to £5,000 (excluding VAT)

Medium complexity case: £4,000 to £20,000 (excluding VAT)

High complexity case: £20,000 to £45,000 (excluding VAT)

Some of the factors that could make a case more complicated and therefore impact upon costs include:

  • Preliminary issues – these might include whether the Claim has been made in time or whether the parties to the Claim are correct
  • Dealing with applications to amend a Claim or Response to a Claim or to provide further information about an existing claim or Response
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • Unfair dismissal claims where there are more complex areas of law, including Claims which are regarded as ‘automatically unfair’ are nearly always more complex and therefore more costly to deal with
  • Some unfair or wrongful dismissal claims also include other matters such as allegations of discrimination or whistleblowing can be very complex and our costs are likely to exceed those above.

It should also be noted that defending claims that are brought by someone who is representing him or herself and has not appointed a representative can make matters more time consuming and therefore more costly.

What is covered and what are the key stages

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

  • Taking instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the prospects of you winning or losing and likely ranges of compensation (this will be revisited throughout the matter)
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation, where required, to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing a Claim or Response to a claim
  • Dealing with and advising on preparation of or response to a Schedule of Loss
  • Preparing for and attending any Preliminary Hearing
  • Exchanging documents with the other side
  • Agreeing relevant documents with the other party
  • Preparing a Tribunal Bundle of document
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues and chronology where necessary
  • Dealing with correspondence to and from the Employment Tribunal
  • Dealing with correspondence to and from the other party or their representative
  • Exploring and negotiating potential settlement throughout

Every Tribunal is unique and involves differing levels of time and cost.  However, the work set out above is aimed to provide an idea of what might be involved.  Of course, where less of these stages are involved the costs involved will be less than where most or all of the above aspects of work are carried out.

The charges set out below for our attendance at a Tribunal hearing and for an advocate are in addition to the costs mentioned above.

Employment Tribunal Hearing

There are additional daily charges should a Claim proceed to a final hearing.  These are based on the attendance of a solicitor from the practice and a barrister to conduct the advocacy.

The costs of a Solicitor’s attendance will be between £500 and £1,250 (plus VAT) per day depending on the complexity of the case and the length of the hearing.  Some hearings might last a part of a day whereas other can last for several days.

The costs of a barrister attending a Tribunal Hearing will vary considerably depending on their experience.  The likely range of daily costs for a barrister range from £700 (plus VAT) at the lower end to £4,000 (plus VAT) at the higher end for a very experienced barrister.

A barrister’s charges for multi-day hearings would depend on the length of the hearing and the experience of the advocate. They will not necessarily be a multiple of the daily cost and fees are agreed with the barrister in advance. However, it should also be noted that barristers will charge a fee to be instructed.  However, for hearings lasting more than one day they will charge an additional daily rate.

It is also important to note that there will be a date beyond which a barrister will still charge for some or all of his or her agreed fees even if he or she is not required to represent you.  This is because the barrister will have booked the dates out and may lose the opportunity for other work and is an accepted type of arrangement.  This means that you would need to focus on the timing of any possible settlement of a Claim and to factor in the fact that further costs will be incurred beyond a certain date.

It is worth noting that Employment Tribunals vary in length considerably.  However, in our experience, most hearings last between 1 and 3 days. Some do, however, last considerably longer.

How long will my case take overall from start to finish?

The Employment Tribunal process can take anything between a few weeks, for example where there is early settlement, and 18 months.  In some very complex cases, or cases where there are exceptional circumstances, the process can take even longer.  However, we would typically expect a Tribunal case to take somewhere between 6 and 12 months form start to finish.

Methods of funding

Please note that you should always check whether you have alternative methods of funding available to you and we do not advise on this.  Some household insurance policies, for example, include some element of legal expenses insurance but you would need to check the terms of your policy.