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Employment Tribunal defended claim for Employers and Employees

Your case in the Employment Tribunal will be managed by a solicitor or partner and they will always act in your best interests, whether you are an individual or an organisation – an employer or an employee. Details of our litigation lawyers including their qualifications and experience are available here.

The role of your solicitor is to advise you and prepare your case. If your case goes to a final hearing, your solicitor will instruct a barrister (Counsel) to present your case to the judge.

Range of costs

Your Solicitor’s normal hourly charging rate ranges from £235+VAT to £265+VAT, depending upon their role and experience. We know it helps you to have a clear idea of total costs and so we will provide an estimate of this at the outset and update it as your case progresses.

Our total legal fees for bringing or defending a claim for unfair dismissal/wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal are likely to be as follows:

  • Simple case with a final hearing of 1- 2 days in the Employment Tribunal:
    £10,000 – £15,000 + VAT (Total including VAT £12,000 – £18,000)
  • Medium complexity case with a final hearing of 3-5 days in the Employment Tribunal:
    £12,000 – £25,000 + VAT (Total including VAT £14,400 – £30,000)
  • High complexity case with a final hearing of 6+ days in the Employment Tribunal:
    £20,000 – £45,000 + VAT (£24,000 – £54,000)

How complex is your case?

Factors that could make a case more complex and therefore more expensive include:

  • The number of documents
  • The number of witnesses
  • Preliminary legal issues e.g. whether the claim is late or whether the claimant is disabled
  • Making or defending applications e.g. for amendments, or to provide further information or disclosure of documents
  • If the claim is for automatic unfair dismissal e.g. whistleblowing
  • If there are allegations of discrimination linked to the dismissal
  • Defending claims where the other party has no legal representation
  • Making or responding to a costs application.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all work in relation to the following key stages:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this will be revisited throughout and may change)
  • Preparing the claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising throughout
  • Exploring and negotiating settlement throughout
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing (case management)
  • Exchanging documents with the other party
  • Agreeing a bundle of documents, and preparing it where necessary
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s documents and witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Instructing Counsel
  • Preparing for the final hearing.

Fixed fee/ ‘no win no fee’

If you would like to have a fixed fee for our total costs, we will provide this if the case is a suitable one. The more complex your case, the less likely it is that we can offer a fixed fee.

In some exceptional cases we can offer claimants a ‘no win no fee’ arrangement. This means that you do not pay us anything if we do not recover any compensation for you. If we do recover compensation for you, either through a settlement or an Employment Tribunal award, our fee is a percentage of the compensation up to a maximum of 35% inclusive of VAT. We can offer a ‘no win no fee’ arrangement only where the claim has very good merits and the likely level of recovery is also appropriate.

Additional charges

There is no court or Tribunal fee to issue your claim or response in the Employment Tribunal.

If you would like your solicitor to attend the final hearing in the Employment Tribunal, there will be a charge of £1,600 + VAT per day.

Counsel’s fees are separate. Below is a guide to these fees.

Counsel’s fees

In addition to our fees, you will need to pay Counsel’s fees for advocacy at the final hearing. These will vary, depending on how senior the barrister is. The following estimates are for a specialist employment law barrister with 7 – 12 years’ experience and include VAT:

  • 1-day hearing: £2,000
  • 2-day hearing: £3,500
  • 3-day hearing: £5,500
  • 5-day hearing: £10,000
  • 10-day hearing: £18,000


If you have a policy of insurance which covers employment related disputes, you may be able to instruct us under the terms of that policy. In those circumstances, your insurer may pay your legal fees in part or in full, although this is subject to the conditions of the policy.

We recommend that you check your insurance policies to see whether they have any legal expenses cover.

How long will your case last?

The more complex your case, the longer it is likely to take to reach a final hearing. Less complex cases may be completed within 6 months but cases that are more complex may take 9 – 18 months.

Settlement, which can take place at any time, is generally a much quicker way to resolve your case and may take 2 – 4 weeks in some circumstances.


You can book a meeting here with one of our specialist employment team local to you.

Book a Meeting

Get in Touch

Request a call back

If you’d prefer us to call you back, just use the form below to give us your number and the best time to call. It would also be useful if you could give us some idea of what you’d like to discuss.


    February 2021: Covid-19 arrangements

    Wards Solicitors remains open for business during the national lockdown and we are taking on new cases.  We are available for video call and telephone meetings but cannot currently offer face to face meetings with clients except in some specific emergency situations and at court hearings.

    How to get in touch:

    • Please email or telephone your usual lawyer or team, or
    • Please telephone the branch most convenient to you between 9am and 5:30pm, Mondays to Fridays.
    • Alternatively, email info@wards.uk.com at any time and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

    A list of our 12 branches is available here. Our telephones lines are operating as normal behind closed doors.

    Important Warning: Cyber-crime is very common including email interception. We will never tell you of changes to our bank details by email.  Please be aware that we accept no responsibility if you transfer money to a bank account which is not ours. If you receive an email giving our bank account details, please telephone us immediately without replying to the email or sending money.