Employment Tribunal Fees for Businesses (defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)

Price Transparency Employment Tribunal Fees

For a business

We have set out below our pricing range for defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal. Please note that the pricing does not cover any other type of claim, such as a discrimination claim, which your business might need to defend. We do not offer any conditional fee or damage-based agreements.

Costs up to hearing

We cannot give a definitive cost for this work as it will depend on the complexity of the claim(s) that are being brought against your business. However, we have set out below a pricing range which shows you our charges for dealing with a claim from start up to (but not including) a final hearing according to its complexity:

  • Simple Case: £6,000 to £10,500 plus VAT, considering approximately 20 to 35 hours work.
  • Medium Complexity Case: £10,500 to £15,000 plus VAT, considering approximately 20 to 50 hours work.
  • High Complexity Case: £15,000 to £30,000 plus VAT, considering approximately 50 to 100 hours work.

The above charges are based on an hourly rate of £300 plus VAT. VAT will be charged at the standard rate, details of which can be found here

Fixed fee

We may provide you with a fixed fee quote within the appropriate range once we have a better understanding of the claim against your business (exclusive of barrister’s fees). Any offer of a fixed fee will be dependent upon the merits and complexities of the claim against you.

Commercial insurance

Your legal fees may be covered by a commercial insurance agreement. If your fees are covered by such an agreement and your insurers appoint us to represent you, then some or all of your legal fees may be covered by your insurers, dependent upon the terms of your policy. However, you may be asked to pay an additional amount on top of the contribution being paid by your insurers, for example if the terms of your policy are only to pay a percentage of fees charged. The policy may also cover barrister’s fees.


Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • If it is necessary to make or dispute a request to amend the defence or provide further information about an existing claim
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Dealing with complex issues before the tribunal hearing such as whether the claimant is an employee (if this is in dispute) or whether the claim has been issued in time
  • The number of witnesses and documents. The greater the number of witnesses and the larger the amount of the documents, the more complex the claim
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim, e.g. if the claimant was dismissed after blowing the whistle on the business
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

There will be an additional charge if you would like us to attend the tribunal hearing of £1,500 per day plus VAT. Generally, we would allow 1 to 3 days attendance depending on the complexity of your case.

Additional costs and disbursements 

Disbursements are necessary costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, which we handle on your behalf. A barrister will be instructed to represent you at the tribunal hearing. Barristers are lawyers who specialise in representation at hearings. When a barrister is instructed to represent you at the tribunal hearing there will be an additional cost (Counsel’s fees). Counsel’s fees for an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim are typically estimated between £1,500 to £3,000 per day plus VAT, depending on the number of years’ experience of the barrister. This cost covers the barrister’s preparation time and attendance at the tribunal hearing.

Key stages 

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

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers, and advising you on the merits of the claim against the business. The likely compensation the business could be asked to pay the claimant. (Advising you on the merits and the likely compensation the claimant may receive are both likely to be revisited throughout the matter and are both subject to change)
  • Entering pre-claim conciliation where this is required to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing the business’s response to the claim and filing it at the tribunal
  • Exploring and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Considering details of the claimant’s losses (schedule of loss) and preparing a counter-schedule
  • Preparing for and attending any hearings which are needed to resolve issues prior to the main tribunal hearing (these are called ‘Preliminary Hearings’)
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting witness statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Preparing an agreed bundle of documents for use at the tribunal hearing
  • Reviewing and advising you on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and or a cast list for use at the tribunal hearing
  • Preparation for and attendance at the final hearing, including instructing a barrister

How long will my matter take?

The time 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 prior to us having to file a response on your behalf, or shortly after filing your response, your case is likely to take 6 to 12 weeks. If your case proceeds all the way to a final tribunal hearing, your case is likely to take around 6 to 9 months but may be longer depending on how quickly the tribunal can find a date for the hearing. This is 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.

Please click here for further details of the experience and qualifications of the individual(s) who may work on your case. All matters are supervised by David McBride, Head of Department.