Services & Pricing – Employment Tribunals

Our estimated legal fees for defending claims in the Employment Tribunal (“ET”).

Our legal fees will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. This is because ET claim differs in complexity depending on the facts and the type of claim(s) involved. We generally categorise ET claims in the following brackets:

Complexity of claim Example Legal fee estimate
TYPE A – Standard Straight forward claim (typically unfair dismissal) involving one to two days at a Final Hearing.


£20,000 – £30,000 plus VAT
TYPE B – Complex A claim involving discrimination and/or complex claim/facts or numerous claims where a Preliminary Hearing is required with three to five days at a Final Hearing.


£30,000 – £50,000 plus VAT
TYPE C -Very complex A claim involving discrimination and/or complex claim/facts or numerous claims where a Preliminary Hearing is required and a Final Hearing with excess of five days. Upwards of £50,000 plus VAT

Factors that could make an ET claim more complex include:

  1. Applications for an adjournment;
  2. If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to seek further information or to seek additional disclosure about an existing claim;
  3. Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person (individuals that do not have legal representation);
  4. Making or defending a costs application;
  5. Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
  6. The number of witnesses and documents;
  7. If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if an employee is dismissed after blowing the whistle on their employer; and/or
  8. Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

There will be an additional charge for us attending an ET l Hearing, in the region of £1,250 per day (excluding VAT, charged at 20%). This is in addition to the costs of the Barrister we will instruct to represent you and conduct the advocacy (see more in the Disbursements section below). The length of an ET Hearing will be dependent on the complexity of the case.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The Barrister’s fees are charged by way of a brief fee (typically including preparation and day 1 of the Final Hearing, these can be anywhere in the region of £4,000 to £9,000 plus VAT depending on the complexity of the case) and refresher fees (estimated between £1,000 to £2,000 plus VAT per day thereafter) (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing.  These would be agreed with you beforehand and monies paid on the account prior to the instruction of the Barrister.

Key stages

Our legal fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of the defence of an ET claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to 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 a response;
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim(s) or any additional responses from another party;
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
  • Preparing or considering a Schedule of Loss;
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing/Case Management discussion;
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
  • Preparing bundle of documents;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • Agreeing on a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list; and
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to a Barrister.

The stages set out above are an indication only.  If some of the stages above are not required, our legal fees may be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

How long will an ET claim 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 your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case could last take 4-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, currently due to COVID-19 restrictions your case is likely to take 10 to 18 months.   This is just an estimate and we will, of course, be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the ET claim progresses.

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Catherine Wilson Partner