Costs and Timescales what you need to know

The fees for acting for you in Employment Tribunal claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal will vary and will depend upon:

  • The complexities of the claim
  • Interim hearings or preliminary issues
  • The number of documents and witnesses
  • The length of the full hearing
  • The realistic approaches of all parties
  • Whether settlement can be achieved and at what stage.

Our costs are charged on a time spent basis. An estimate of costs based on a one day hearing for unfair dismissal would typically be between: £12,000 - £20,000 plus VAT at 20%. More complex, lengthy or discrimination claims will be higher.

This estimate is based on our standard hourly rates of £160 - £275* plus VAT at 20% depending on seniority.


In addition, disbursements in respect of Counsel’s fees may be payable. These will be discussed and agreed with you in advance.

Currently there are no fees to submit a claim to the Employment Tribunal. We will update you if the position changes

Generally, each party is responsible for their own legal costs whether they win or lose. However, in some limited circumstances, the losing party may be ordered to pay part/all of the other side’s costs.

When you instruct us, we will provide further detail of costs in relation to your matter and give a clear costs update at each stage of the process.

Where settlement is achieved at an early stage, our fees will be considerably less. Settlement discussions (with or without ACAS) can take place at any time up to and including the date of hearing. (Advice on, and drafting of Settlement terms are excluded from the estimate above)


The Key stages of the Tribunal process are:

  • Meeting with you to take initial instructions, review your papers and advise on prospects, value and likely costs
  • ACAS Early Conciliation
  • Submitting/reviewing the Claim
  • Submitting/reviewing the Defence
  • Preliminary Hearings
  • Preparing/reviewing the schedule of loss
  • Exchanging documents and preparing the bundle
  • Preparing and exchanging witness evidence
  • Attending the Hearing

A Claim must be submitted within 3 months (less one day) of the dismissal date. A defence must be submitted within 28 days of claim being sent to the Respondent(Employer). Time limits at the Employment Tribunal are strict and you must act in good time.

Depending on the Tribunal location, hearings are likely to be listed between 9-18 months of receipt of claim.


Your costs may be covered by insurance – for example under house insurance, commercial insurance or other general policy. We are happy to consider instructions under these policies subject to the Insurers terms and conditions. We act for a number of clients on this basis.

We will always work in your best interests and aim to be as cost effective as possible and achieve the best outcome for you in all the circumstances.

This is not a quote – for further details on our costs or to discuss your Tribunal matter, please contact us.

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