Employment Tribunal (ET) – costs

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The costs involved in going to an ET can range from £15k plus VAT to £200k plus VAT. A straightforward case (which would be at the lower end of that scale) would involve few witnesses and documents, no or few legal issues such as whether the claimant is an employee or not, no issues relating to a costs application and would involve a single claim such as unfair dismissal only.

A medium or high complexity would involve more of the above factors such as numerous witnesses, lots of documents, complex legal issues etc. Other factors that would make such cases more time intensive would be attending preliminary hearings at ET and dealing with multiple claims such as unfair dismissal and discrimination.

There would also be charges incurred for attending a Tribunal Hearing ranging from £1500 per day plus VAT to £2000 per day plus VAT. Generally, we would allow 1-10 days depending on the complexity of your case.


Disbursements are costs related to your case that are payable to third parties, such as a barrister (Counsel). We would handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Counsel’s fees would be based on an hourly rate ranging from £175 per hour plus VAT to £300 per hour plus VAT (depending on experience). This would relate to meetings with Counsel, preparation of your case and attending the ET at a full hearing.

Key stages

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 claim or response;
  • Reviewing and advising on 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 and/or cast list;
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication only, and if some of stages above are not required the costs 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 it all 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 3-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 18-36 weeks. 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.