Employment Tribunals – Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal

Our hourly rates
We set out below our hourly rates and costs applicable to the provision of advice and representation to employers in relation to defending claims and employees in relation to bringing claims before the Employment Tribunal for unfair or wrongful dismissal. However, there will be instances when a matter of this type is complex and these costings are not appropriate.

Partners – between £375 and £500 plus VAT.
Senior associates – between £295 and £350 plus VAT.
Associates – between £225 and £275 plus VAT.
Trainee solicitors – between £150 and £175 plus VAT.
Paralegals – £140 plus VAT.

Partners and associates (sometimes referred to as assistant solicitors) are all qualified solicitors admitted in England and Wales. Trainee solicitors are not qualified lawyers, but they will have taken certain professional examinations.

Range of Costs

Below we set out a general guidance of pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal. The level of cost of any case is dependent on a range of factors including the extent of nature, value, complexity of the case and the advice you require.

Our pricing guide for such claims can be considered as follows:

Simple case: £10,000 – £30,000 (excluding VAT);

Medium complexity case: £30,000-£80,000 (excluding VAT);

High complexity case: £80,000-£500,000 (excluding VAT).

We will endeavour to tell you into which category your case falls. However, in our experience, cases can evolve in unpredictable ways which may result in your case becoming more or less complex which can lead to a change in the level of legal costs.

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties) or whether there has been a transfer under the TUPE Regulations.
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer.
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing. The cost will depend on the level of seniority of the solicitors attending and we will give you a choice so you have control over costs. A junior solicitor is likely to cost approximately £1,800 per day (excluding VAT). A Partner is likely to cost approximately £3,000 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1-10 days for the hearing of a case depending on the complexity of your case.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees and barristers to represent you at any hearing. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process but we will generally require funds to be paid on account of fees and disbursements before we will incur the cost of any disbursement.

Counsel’s fees are estimated between £750 and £5,000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for preparing and attending a Tribunal Hearing. We will give you a choice as to how experienced the barrister is and present you with a range of estimated costs.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover 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 early conciliation through ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service); where it is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached at that time;
  • Preparing a claim or a response;
  • Reviewing and advising on a claim or a response from other party;
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss or preparing a counter schedule of loss;
  • Exchanging a list of documents with the other party;
  • Agreeing and/or preparing a bundle of documents for hearings (depending on the tribunal orders);
  • Taking statements from witnesses, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list;
  • Preparing for a Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication of what might be required and if some of the stages are not required, the overall fees may be less. If any of the stages become protracted, then fees may increase. If preliminary hearings are required or matters become protracted, the cost likely will increase. 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 matter 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 and the time the Employment Tribunal takes to process and deal with your claim. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 4-12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 12-52 weeks to reach a conclusion. These are just estimates and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Employment Tribunal work is carried out by Partners (P), Solicitors (S), Trainees (T) and Paralegals (P). To learn more about them please click on their names to be directed to their bio page.

Kate Payne (P – Head of Employment)
Alexandra Booth (P)
Timothey Goodger (P)
Rosalind Jones (P)

Gregory Butera (S)
Sean Sydenham (S- Consultant)

David Davies (T)
Theresa Hirsh (T)
Constantine Porfyratos (T)

All work is carried out under the supervision of a partner.