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Employment Tribunal Costs

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 employment 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 £275+VAT (£330) to £305+VAT (£366), 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:
    £15,000 – £25,000 + VAT (Total including VAT £18,000 – £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.

"Its been refreshing to deal with somebody as professional and efficient as yourself, especially your prompt communication throughout. These seem to be rare attributes these days."

"James dealt with matters very efficiently and empathetically and always answered telephone calls and queries the same day - excellent communication from him."

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 approximately £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 5-10 years’ experience, excluding VAT:

  • 1-day hearing: £2,500
  • 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.

Important notice: please read

Cyber-crime is on the increase and solicitor transactions can be hijacked by scammers. This commonly takes the form of email or phone interception.  At the start of our working relationship we will provide you with terms of business that include our account details – these will never change.

Please be aware that we will never ask you to send money to a different bank account, particularly by email. If you receive a request for money from us please check that everything matches the details in our terms of business.

If you receive an email giving any other bank account please telephone us immediately without replying to the email or sending any money. We accept no responsibility if you transfer money to a bank account which is not ours.

Wards Solicitors