Our costs for bringing or defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal
This page gives you information about our fees for dealing with bringing a claim or defending a claim in an employment tribunal for unfair or wrongful dismissal, and the expenses you will incur in connection with our work. No two cases are exactly the same, and the fees and expenses involved will depend on the complexity of your particular case, and whether it is settled by negotiation or goes to a full tribunal hearing.
If you call us and give us more details of your case, we can give you a more accurate idea of the likely costs involved in pursuing or defending the claim to different stages.
Our employment law team
Employment cases are dealt with by two partners, Steve Hollis and Adam Weston, in our Cambridge office.
You can find details of their qualifications and experience by following the link to Our People here
What fees and expenses will I incur in a tribunal case?
The total costs to you of our work in connection with your case will be made up of:
- our fees for conducting the case and
- expenses we incur.
Our fees and most expenses are subject to VAT, currently 20%. In the information below, figures in brackets include VAT.
The fees we charge you will depend largely on the time we spend on the case, charged at an hourly rate ranging (according to who works on the case) from £220 (£264) to £260 (£312).
How much are your fees likely to be?
Our total fees will depend on the complexity of the case and “how far it goes”, both of which factors will affect how much time we spend on your case.
- In a simple case, our fees are likely to be in the range £2,000 (£2,400 with VAT) to £15,000 (£18,000)
- In a medium complexity case, our fees are likely to be between £4,000 (£4,800 including VAT) and £25,000 (£30,000)
- In a high complexity case, we would expect of fees to be in the range £10,000 (£12,000) to £100,000 (£120,000)
Factors that could make a case more complex are:
- if it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim; or
- defending claims brought by litigants in person, without professional representation; or
- making or defending a costs application; or
- complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant employee or ex-employee is disabled, if this is not agreed by the parties; or
- the number of witnesses and documents involved in the case; or
- if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim – for example, if an employee is dismissed after “blowing the whistle” on his or her employer or
- allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
There will be an additional charge for attending a tribunal hearing of £2,000 per day (£2,400 including VAT). Generally, we would allow 1 – 5 days for a full hearing, depending on the complexity of your case.
What expenses will be incurred?
There are currently no fees payable to the Employment Tribunal for bringing a case against an employer or former employer.
If your case goes to a tribunal hearing, we will normally instruct a barrister (a specialist advocate) to conduct your case in front of the tribunal. The barrister’s fees are likely to be between £1,000 (£1,200 including VAT) to £4,000 (4,800) per day, depending on experience of the advocate, for attending a tribunal hearing. These fees include his or her preparation for the hearing.
What steps are involved in a tribunal claim?
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 your claim or response to a claim.
- Reviewing and advising on the 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 or other schedules to assist the tribunal.
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to your barrister.
The stages set out above are an indication only: if some of stages above are not required, or the case is settled before it reaches a hearing, 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 case 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 2 – 6 weeks.
If your claim proceeds to a full hearing, the case is likely to take up to 12 months. If the final hearing is likely to take more than a few days, it can take longer to obtain a hearing date.
These indications are no more than estimates, and we should be able to give you a more accurate timetable once we have more information about your case, and as the matter progresses.