Employment Tribunal: Costs estimate for an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim

Set out below are our typical estimated costs for the provision of advice and representation in relation to defending a claim on behalf of an employer before the Employment Tribunal for unfair or wrongful dismissal. These prices are estimates only and are calculated on the basis of a standard claim, subject to certain assumptions (detailed below). We generally provide this service subject to fixed or capped costs. A comprehensive estimate, specific to your needs, can be obtained by contacting a member of the Employment Law team before instructing us to undertake any work on your behalf.

Our Employment Law team is led by an Associate Partner with over 25 years’ experience, along with a number of qualified solicitors, the majority of whom have over 7 years’ experience dealing with contentious and non-contentious employment law matters, including defending Employment Tribunal claims.

Our fees

The typical fees for our services in defending a standard claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal will be approximately £20,000 - £25,000, exclusive of VAT.  This estimate would include the key stages of the matter set out below based on the assumptions listed.

The above estimate excludes other costs payable, such as disbursements (which may include barrister’s fees, travel expenses and bulk photocopying costs). We usually instruct a barrister to attend the full merits hearing and conduct the advocacy on behalf of clients. We estimate that the barrister’s fees for a standard unfair or wrongful dismissal claim will be approximately £2,500 - £5,000, exclusive of VAT.

Key stages and assumptions

In calculating this estimate, please note:

  1. The estimated cost covers the following stages, which represent the whole lifecycle of the claim, from submission of the defence (ET3) through to the full merits hearing. This includes:
    • Preparation of the defence;
    • Risk and merits assessment;
    • Attendance (by telephone) of a case management discussion or preliminary hearing;
    • Document review and preparation of bundle;
    • Preparation of witness statements; and
    • Preparation for a full hearing.
  2. The estimate is based on the following assumptions:
    • The claim is a straightforward wrongful or unfair dismissal claim.
    • There is only one preliminary hearing or case management discussion, and this takes place by telephone.
    • There are no more than 200 relevant documents to be reviewed.
    • The hearing bundle contains up to 100 documents.
    • The employer calls up to 3 witnesses.
    • Each witness statement is not more than 20 pages long.
    • The merits hearing goes on for no longer than 2 days.

Based on the assumptions set out above, we would estimate that the likely timescale for the key stages of an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim would be approximately 4 to 6 months from submission of the defence (ET3) through to the full merits hearing. However, timescales are dictated by the Courts and Tribunals Service which in turn will depend on resources and volumes of claims, and so cases can sometimes take longer to reach a full hearing.

The costs stated above may be affected and could increase if there is any change to any of the assumptions (for example where more than 3 witnesses are called, where the hearing goes beyond 2 days or where our attendance in person at any hearing is required).