Guidance on Legal Costs for Employment Tribunals

Posted on 27th May 2020

We have set out below guidance on legal costs for bringing or defending claims for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal before an Employment Tribunal.

We have extensive experience of preparing for and attending employment tribunals for both employers and employees in all parts of the country and have a 95% success rate. All our clients’ cases are handled by a solicitor with at least 20 years’ experience of bringing or defending employment tribunal claims.

In many instances we run the whole case for our clients from the issue of proceedings to the final hearing. As an alternative, we can also provide advice and assistance as and when required or for key stages only, such as drafting witness statements or conducting the advocacy at hearings. We try to be as flexible as possible and will work with our clients so that they can get the best possible service at a price to meet their budget. 
 
Most employment tribunal cases settle before hearing which is likely to significantly reduce the legal costs. However, we have set out below a costs guide based upon our experience of the level of costs you might expect should a claim for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal proceed through all the stages up to and including the final hearing. The costs are based on our hourly rate of £200 plus vat. 

• Simple case: £7,000 to £9,000 plus vat
• Medium complexity case: £9,000 to £15,000 plus vat
• High complexity case: £15,000 to £18,000 plus vat

These are estimates only but we will be able to provide a better idea of the likely costs relating to your specific case when we have more detailed instructions.

Factors that could make a case more complex and impact on the estimated costs referred to above:

• The number of days of hearing (including preliminary hearings)
• The number of witnesses for both parties
• The volume of documentation
• The requirement to make or defend applications or deal with preliminary issues.
• The type and complexity of the claims 
• The number and complexity of legal and factual issues
• The degree of co-operation and/or professionalism of the opponent

Disbursements:

There may be additional costs relating to the conduct of your case which are referred to as disbursements. These are costs related to your case that are payable to third parties or us such as travel expenses, courier fees, the cost of a medical report or barristers fees. The cost of any disbursements will depend on the circumstances of your case.
 
Depending upon the availability of our in-house advocate and your particular requirements, it may be necessary to instruct a barrister to conduct the advocacy at the final employment tribunal hearing. Barrister’s fees vary according to factors such as the seniority of the barrister and the complexity of the case. Indicative costs for a barrister with up to 5 years’ experience might be in the region of £1250 plus vat for the first day of the hearing with a further £850 plus vat for any additional days of hearing.

The key stages of an employment tribunal case:

• Taking your initial instructions, considering documents and advising on the merits of the case
• Drafting the Claim or Response
• Exploring possible settlement
• Preparing or considering the schedule of loss
• Dealing with documents and disclosure
• Preparing witness statements
• Reviewing the other party’s witness statements
• Drafting and agreeing a list of issues, chronology, cast list
• Preparation for and attendance at hearings

How long will the case take?

Most employment tribunal claims are settled and do not run the full course to a final hearing. If that happens, the case could be over within weeks. If a case runs its full course then the process can take anything from around 6 months to over a year depending upon factors such as the number of days of hearing and the complexity of the case.
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