Employment tribunal claims

Publication | December 2018

Range of costs

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal will depend on the complexity and particular circumstances of the case. As such the costs could fall within the range of £50,000 (excluding VAT) (for a straightforward claim, single issue, with no preliminary issues, listed for a one day hearing with counsel representation, with one witness and limited documentation) to £1.5 million (excluding VAT) (for a more complex, multi issue claim, listed for 10 days, with over 5 witnesses, large amounts of documentation and a number of preliminary hearings). Any such fees will depend on the cases complexity and the factors effecting such costs are listed below. 

Any allegations of discrimination or other claims are not included within this range of costs and will be additional costs. 

The above range is based on our headline hourly rates of £235.00 – £795.00 per hour. The applicable hourly rate will vary according to the seniority and experience of the fee earner(s) involved. The appropriate fee earner will be determined depending on the complexity, issues and deadlines involved in the case A full estimate relating to your specific case can be obtained by contacting us with your detailed requirements. 

There will be an additional charge for attending a tribunal hearing of approximately £5,000 (per day) (excluding VAT) depending on the level of fee earner who attends at the hearing. For the length of time for the case see “How long will my matter take?” below.

Factors relating to cases complexity

The following factors may lead to a case being considered simple, medium or high complexity case and will therefore have an impact on the costs arising

  • Where 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 cost application.
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is out of time or whether the tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the claim or whether the claimant has the correct employment status.
  • The number of witnesses and documents.
  • If there is an automatic unfair dismissal claim. For example, any claim relating to whistleblowing by the employee or where the matter is linked to a transfer of an undertaking under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.
  • If contesting that there was in any event a dismissal.
  • Your purpose and objective.

Disbursements

Disbursements are cost related to the matter that are payable to third parties such as court fees. In the employment tribunal there will be no specific court fees. We will handle payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smooth process.

Counsel’s Fees are effectively a disbursement and will be additional to our costs set out above. The Counsel’s fees are estimated as between

  • Brief fee range: £750 + VAT to £1,000 + VAT for a simple wrongful or unfair dismissal case, listed for 1 day hearing, instructing junior Counsel of between 3 and 5 years' call.
  • Brief fee range: £5,000 + VAT to £7,500 + VAT – with a refresher fee of £1,500 to £2,000 + VAT – for a medium complexity unfair dismissal case listed for 3 day hearing, instructing junior Counsel of 8-12 years' call.
  • Brief fee range: £20,000 + VAT to £50,000 + VAT – with a refresher fee of £2,500 + VAT to £4,500 + VAT – for a high complexity whistleblowing unfair dismissal case listed for 10 day hearing, instructing i) senior junior of 15+ years' call and ii) new QC.

Factors such as the experience of the advocate instructed, the chambers instructed, the length of the hearing and the complexity of the case as shown above will affect the level of counsel’s fees.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim

  • Taking initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the merits and likely compensation. This will 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 the claim.
  • Reviewing and advising on the response from the other party.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
  • Preparing a schedule of loss.
  • Preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing.
  • Exchange documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents.
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
  • Preparing a bundle of documents.
  • Agreeing a list of issues, chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation and attendance at the final hearing including instructions to Counsel.
  • Fees set out in relation to defending a claim include taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation.
  • Preparing the response to the claim.
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim form from the other party.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement.
  • 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 a bundle of documents.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other sub parties witness statements.
  • Agreeing a list of issues, chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation and attendance at the final hearing including instructions to Counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages above are not required this will have an impact on the level of the fees.

How long will my matter take?

The time that the matter takes from taking initial instructions to the final resolution of the matter will depend largely on the stage at which your case is resolved if at all. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation your case is likely to take 26 weeks. However, if your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 104 weeks. In addition, there is a delay in many tribunals and the claim may therefore not be heard for a significant period of time. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give a more accurate timescale once we have more information and the matter progresses.

Who will conduct my matter?

Your matter will be dealt with by our employment and labour team and the team to be appointed will depend on the nature and complexity of your claim. Refer to the key contacts list for details of the experience of each member of the team.