Employment tribunal

Our expert lawyers are experienced in representing both employees and employers in employment tribunals.


Our costs for advising employers on claims for unfair dismissal and breach of contract are unless otherwise stated or agreed, based solely on the amount of time we spend on each matter. 

The amount of time spent dealing with each matter can vary considerably as each matter is unique. There are many factors that can affect the amount of time it will take to pursue or defend a claim; however, these can include:

  1. The nature of the claim, whether it involves an actual dismissal or, whether it is a claim which alleges the employer’s conduct was so bad the employee was entitled to resign and claim they have been dismissed;

  2. The number of witnesses from whom it will be necessary to obtain evidence and for whom a statement must be produced;

  3. Whether there are any hearings or applications before the actual hearing of the substantive issues;

  4. The number of days for which a case is listed by a tribunal to be heard. 

At the outset of every matter, we will provide an estimate of the cost likely to be incurred. This will normally be an estimate based upon our experience of similar matters. However, given the nature of litigation, it is likely that the estimate will be reviewed as the matter progresses; particularly when the tribunal has listed a matter to be heard. We will keep you updated on the costs incurred on a monthly basis by sending monthly invoices.

Hourly  rates

The hourly rate charged will vary depending upon the level of experience of the person dealing with the matter. We will assign a suitably qualified and experienced person to deal with each matter. Our hourly rates range from £170 to £370. All of our charges are subject to VAT.

Included within our costs are:

  • All telephone and postage costs;

  • Photocopying, save where we are required to copy a substantial number of documents. If we propose to charge for copying we would advise before undertaking the copying and estimate the cost.

Disbursements not included in our costs:

  • The cost of travel to and from meetings or tribunal hearings;

  • Any fees incurred in couriering documents;

  • Copying of substantial volumes of paper;

  • Barristers’ fees - these will depend upon:

    • The extent of their involvement in any pre-hearing work;

    • The complexity of the issues and the evidence;

    • Their seniority;

    • The likely length of time needed to prepare the case, and;

    • The length of any hearing.


Typically barristers will charge (i) a Brief Fee to cover the time required to prepare a case for trial, to include the first day; this also will include a cost to book time in their diary and (ii) fees for any subsequent days at trial. Brief Fees may range from £1,000 for a single day hearing to £30,000-50,000 if a matter is listed for two weeks. Daily rates, thereafter, may vary from £1,000 to £5,000 a day.  All of these figures are exclusive of VAT.

Examples of fees

The following examples are intended to provide a range of costs for tribunal cases.  They are illustrative examples to help you judge how we will charge for your work.  

Unfair dismissal/ Wrongful dismissal claims

  • Simple claim - £10,000 - £20,000 plus VAT 
    (e.g. a claim relating to redundancy or involving a single act of misconduct)

  • Medium complexity claim - £15,000 - £70,000 plus VAT 
    (e.g. a claim involving a series of acts of misconduct or involving dismissal for capability)

  • High complexity claim - £50,000 - £250,000 plus VAT
    (e.g. claims involving whistleblowing or discrimination)

The costs include:

  • Receiving initial instructions;

  • Considering relevant documents and providing preliminary advice;

  • Drafting response for approval and submission to the tribunal;

  • Reviewing and disclosing all relevant documents;

  • Preparing and agreeing witness statements in support of the defence;

  • Reviewing and considering the witness statements provided by the claimant; discussing the statements with your witnesses and considering whether to prepare any supplementary evidence;

  • Considering any Schedule of Loss (i.e. the sums being claimed);

  • Preparing witnesses and case for the tribunal hearing;

  • Instructing counsel (if appropriate);

  • Attending the tribunal hearing;

  • Receiving and forwarding to you any written judgment. 

Factors that make a case more complicated:

  • The issues involved e.g whether it is a “simple” unfair dismissal, or more complex such as a constructive unfair, or wrongful dismissal claim; or an unfair dismissal claim based on whistleblowing. 

  • The number of issues involved and whether there are claims other than unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal being made.

  • Where the claim is for breach of contract, any counter-claim by the employer.

  • The number of witnesses involved/ who give evidence.

  • Making applications to the tribunal for disclosure of specific documents.

  • Having to respond to applications made by the claimant or the tribunal e.g. whether the claim has been brought in time; applications to strike out all or part of the claim; applications for deposit orders.

  • Making or defending applications to amend the claim or defence or to provide further and better particulars of the claim.

Factors that may increase costs will include:

  • The amount of time available for undertaking work, for example, if we are asked to prepare for trial in a very short time frame that may cause costs to increase.

  • The length of time for which a matter is listed.

  • Applications being made that require attendance at a hearing.

  • The involvement of another party.

  • The need to consider issues other than breach of contract or unfair dismissal

Budget tribunal service

We also provide a “budget” Tribunal claim service which relies on largely standardised processes and procedures. This service is suitable for straightforward wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal claims listed for one day only. The cost is capped at £8,500 plus VAT. Costs are incurred on a time spent basis but not so that the costs will exceed the capped price. We may agree that the Budget Tribunal Service is suitable for cases listed for two days but there will be an increased cost. 

This includes:

  1. Receipt of initial instructions

  2. Reviewing documentation

  3. Drafting response to the claim

  4. Disclosing relevant documents

  5. Drafting up to 2 witness statements

  6.  Attending the hearing and advocacy

  7. Advice in respect of the tribunal decision

  8. Costs associated with photocopying and other office related disbursements. 

The capped price does not include time spent seeking to negotiate a settlement. Those costs would be paid for separately at the relevant fee earner’s hourly rate.

Additional costs will be incurred in the event of applications and pre-hearing reviews requiring additional correspondence or attendance at tribunal.

Additional costs

Applications - £450 plus VAT per application
Pre-hearing reviews - £1500 plus VAT per case management discussion 

Disbursements not included in the capped fee:

  • Travel costs

  • Any courier fees incurred


It is very difficult to estimate timescales as these will depend upon the tribunal in which the claim is commenced; whether there are any interim hearings prior to the main hearing; the length of time for which the matter is listed.  

Tribunals list more cases to be heard on a day than they can hear. They do this on the basis that many cases will settle prior to a hearing.  It is possible that hearings may be adjourned at short notice by the tribunal because the tribunal does not have the capacity to hear them on a particular day. This may result in a matter being adjourned for several months.

As a guide, we would expect a hearing to be listed 6 – 12 months after the submission of the Claim Form. However, this will vary and may be considerably longer particularly if a case is listed for several days.