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Defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

Pricing Transparency

The basis of our charges

Our charges will reflect the amount of time we spend working on your matter.  The hourly rates we charge vary according to individual agreements with clients and/or the status, experience and seniority of the team member involved.  We review (but do not necessarily increase) our standard hourly rates every January.  Our current standard hourly rates, correct as of 1 January 2022, are:

Team member
Hourly rate
Total including VAT


£225 – £300 £45 – £60 £270 – £360
Senior Associate £200 – £250 £40 – £50 £240 – £300
Associate £170 – £205 £34 – £41 £204 – £241
Solicitor/Legal Executive £160 – £195 £32 – £39 £192- £234
Trainee solicitor/Legal Clerk £125 £25


Overall likely costs:

  • Straightforward case: £5,000 to £7,500 plus VAT of £1,000 to £1,500, a total of £6,000 to £8,000 including VAT.
  • Medium complexity case: £7,500 to £12,000 plus VAT of £1,500 to £2,400, a total of £9,000 to £14,400 including VAT.
  • High complexity case: £10,000 to £20,000 plus VAT of £2,000 to £4,000, a total of £12,000 to £24,000 including VAT.

Factors that could make a case more complex and increase costs as a result:

  • If the claimant is not legally represented;
  • If it becomes necessary to provide further information about the Response;
  • If it becomes necessary to make or respond to an application to amend the Claim Form or Response documents;
  • If it becomes necessary to respond to an application to add additional respondents;
  • If it becomes necessary to make or respond to an application to amend the Claim Form or Response documents;
  • If any complex preliminary issue arises, such as:
    • The need to identify the correct employer;
    • Whether the claimant is disabled; or
    • Whether the claim has been brought in time;
  • If the claim contains an allegation of “whistleblowing”;
  • If the claim contains linked allegations of discrimination;
  • If there is a need to make or defend an application for costs;
  • If there is a large number of witnesses or the need to refer to large volumes of documents;
  • If the final hearing lasts more than one day.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties.  There do not tend to be many disbursements in employment tribunal matters.  Those which are most commonly chargeable are:

  • Travel and subsistence expenses (relating to interviewing witnesses and attending Tribunal hearings);
  • Where a barrister (also known as “Counsel”) is instructed to represent you at a Tribunal hearing, his or her fee. These fees, which include all the case preparation undertaken by the barrister, depend on the complexity and urgency of the matter and the experience of the individual barrister.  They are typically between £1,000 and £2,500 per day.

All of the above disbursements normally attract VAT, which is currently chargeable at a rate of 20%.

Key stages

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

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the Claim Form and other papers, advising you on merits and likely compensation (these assessments are will be reviewed as the matter progresses and are likely to change);
  • Preparing and submitting the Response document to the Tribunal;
  • Diarising and advising you of all critical dates;
  • Continuing to explore settlement options as the process continues;
  • Reviewing and (if necessary) responding to the claimant’s schedule of loss;
  • Preparing for and attending any necessary preliminary hearings (which may be held by telephone, on video or in-person);
  • Exchanging documents with the claimant and agreeing on a bundle of documents for use at the final hearing;
  • Interviewing witnesses and drafting their statements;
  • Exchanging witness statements with the claimant;
  • Reviewing and advising in relation to the claimant’s witness statements;
  • Copying and assembling the bundles of documents for use at the Tribunal hearing;
  • agreeing on a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list;
  • drafting instructions to Counsel and liaising with Counsel in relation to any preparatory matters;
  • Preparing for and attending the final Tribunal hearing (which may be held on video or in-person).

No two cases are identical and not every case will require each of the stages set out above.  If some of the stages are not required, the fee will be reduced.

You may wish to handle the matter yourself and have our advice only in relation to some of the stages. This can be arranged having regard to 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 it is resolved, as well as on the volume of cases being handled by the Employment Tribunal system at the time.  A case may be withdrawn by the claimant at any time and may be settled by the parties at any time.

If your matter proceeds to a final hearing then it is likely to take between four and twelve months.  This is necessarily a “ballpark” 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.

While the pricing information set out above is a good starting point, it is necessarily generic in nature.  If you are considering asking us for assistance with an Employment Tribunal matter but are concerned about the costs, we urge you to speak directly with a member of the Employment Team who will have a focused discussion about your specific matter and give you a better indication of the overall likely cost.  To arrange a discussion please 01642 610300 or email us at