Employment Fees Guide For Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal Claims
Advice and representation before an Employment Tribunal in relation to unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims are likely to fall within the following range of costs:
- Straightforward cases involving a 1-day hearing: £10,000 to £15,000
- Medium complexity cases involving a 2 to 3-day hearing: £15,000 to £20,000
- Highly complex cases involving a hearing lasting for more than 4 days: £20,000 to £100,000.
The above cost ranges do not include the following: –
- VAT which will be charged at the relevant rate at the time the service is provided; currently 20%.
- Advocacy at the final hearing of the case, whether this is done in-house or by an appointed barrister.
- Disbursements (see Disbursements section below).
Most unfair dismissal claims and wrongful dismissal have other claims bought at the same time. For example, it might be argued that an unfair dismissal was for a discriminatory reason, and a wrongful dismissal claim might also be argued as a breach of contract claim. The above figures only apply to unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.
It is not only whether other claims are brought alongside unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims that affect the likely costs involved. Every case is different and fact-dependent, so the above fees are a guideline.
Other factors which affect the likely fees in a case include, but are not limited to: –
- Whether the other party has legal representation;
- The number of parties to the litigation;
- How reasonably the other party conducts themselves within the Employment Tribunal claim;
- Whether it is necessary to have a preliminary hearing (this is an administrative hearing which identifies the issues in dispute);
- The number of documents or witnesses;
- Whether it is necessary to have experts instructed;
- Whether the parties want to explore Judicial Mediation to try to resolve the case;
- Whether there are applications made within the proceedings, such as for specific disclosure of documents, subject access requests, costs etc.
- Whether there are other claims bought at the same time, such as discrimination, whistleblowing, TUPE, collective redundancies etc.
Unless a fixed fee is agreed upon for the work undertaken, we charge on an hourly rate basis. Currently, our fees range from £120 + VAT an hour for a Trainee solicitor to £275 + VAT an hour for a Partner.
We do not offer “no win, no fee” arrangements or Conditional Fee Agreements.
Disbursements are expenses incurred in your matter payable to third parties, such as barristers’ fees, independent medical expert fees, or to us, such as travel expenses and photocopying/printing costs etc. There are no Employment Tribunal fees involved in starting or defending tribunal cases.
We will pay these expenses on your behalf and will require a payment on account before the costs are incurred. We will inform you in advance of these expenses arising.
VAT will be charged at the relevant rate at the time the service is provided; currently 20%.
Stages of a Tribunal Case
- For the majority of cases, it is necessary to explore whether settlement of the case is possible before proceedings are started. This involves contacting ACAS Early conciliation. If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, an Early Conciliation Certificate is issued.
- Following receipt of the Early Conciliation Certificate, the employee (“the Claimant”) sends a Claim Form to the Employment Tribunal. The Employment Tribunal will send this to the named Employer (“the Respondent”).
- Following receipt of the Claim Form, the Respondent is given 28 days within which to send their defence (“known as the Response”) to the Employment Tribunal.
- The Claimant prepares a Schedule of Loss, and the Respondent is able to prepare a counter-Schedule of Loss.
- In most straightforward cases, the Tribunal will send out standard “Directions”. Directions set out the timetable of the steps necessary to prepare the case for the final hearing.
- In discrimination or other types of complex cases, there will be a hearing before an Employment Judge to decide the issues to be decided at the final hearing and set out the Direction, the timetable to get matters prepared for the final hearing. This will require attendance at a Case Management Hearing.
- Listing the relevant documents in each party’s possession or control and exchanging them with the other party (known as “Disclosure”).
- Meeting with witnesses to take their statements, drafting and amending the same before they are exchanged with the other party.
- Reviewing the other party’s witness statements
- Preparing a list of issues (to the extent it has changed from the Preliminary Hearing), a chronology of events and a cast list and agreeing on the same with the other party’
- Preparation, attendance and representation at the final hearing. The final hearing will generally also include remedies. If this is not the case due to time limitations, it is possible for there to be a separate Remedies hearing.
The above is a general overview, and it might be that there are additional stages required, depending on the nature and facts of the case. For example, it might be that an employee claims interim relief and wants to be reinstated, or it might be necessary to instruct a medical expert or have an additional preliminary hearing to decide issues in advance of the final hearing.
If a case is settled during the Early Conciliation procedure, it can take between 4 to 6 weeks to conclude.
The time it takes from the start of a case to the final hearing depends on many variables, for example, whether experts are involved, the number of case management hearings, and how many days the hearing is listed to take at the final hearing. Cases can take between 6 months to a year or longer. Given the many pressures on the Tribunal Services and the reduction in the number of Employment Judges available to hear cases, the time taken can easily be in excess of one year. It is also possible that a case listed for a final hearing can be postponed the day before a final hearing due to the unavailability of an Employment Judge to hear the case.
When the case is listed and, for how long, whether it proceeds when it is intended are all factors beyond our control and the above is intended as an indication of the time frames.
Get in Touch
Employment law advice for individuals
From starting a new job to raising a grievance or claim, our expert lawyers support you through the process.