Employment Tribunal claims, explanation of costs






Tunbridge Wells

Employment Tribunals: Information about costs and your case

If you are bringing or defending a claim for unfair dismissal then you should expect the following range of costs in respect of our fees:

Straightforward case: £8,000-£12,000 plus VAT*
Medium complexity* case: £12,000-£17,500 plus VAT*
High complexity* case: £17,500-£50,000 plus VAT*

If you are bringing or defending a claim for wrongful dismissal then you should expect the following range of costs:

Straightforward case: £7,000-£10,000 plus VAT*
Medium complexity* case: £10,000-£17,500 plus VAT*
High complexity* case: £17,500-£50,000 plus VAT*

The above ranges take into account the variance in the number of witnesses, the amount of documentation that will need to be considered and the length of the final Tribunal hearing. The above ranges are also based on the cost of a case up to and including a final hearing and do not take into account a case that settles at an earlier stage, so costs could be much less than the above range.

We will always endeavour to try and settle a claim at as early a stage as possible if this is in your best interests and you are in agreement with this course of action.

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • A case involving a discriminatory dismissal;
  • A case involving dismissal due to whistleblowing;
  • A case involving personal injury;
  • Preliminary issues that need to be determined such as a dispute over disability or employment status;
  • Where expert evidence is required;
  • Dealing with supplementary issues such as amending a claim or defence or providing additional info about an existing claim;
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person;
  • A final hearing being postponed and re-listed;
  • A further hearing is listed to determine remedy;
  • Making or defending a costs application.

How are the costs calculated?

We charge an hourly rate depending on the complexity of your matter. Our hourly rate varies from £265 plus VAT* to £275 plus VAT*. We require money on account if you decide to proceed. Our policy is then to bill all work in progress at the end of each calendar month.

Are there any additional costs?

1. Counsel's fees

We will usually instruct counsel (a barrister) to represent you at a Tribunal hearing as this tends to be more cost effective for you. To avoid you incurring any further costs we would not attend the hearing with counsel. Counsel's fees are dependent on the seniority of the barrister but are estimated to be £1,500 - £5,000 plus VAT* for a 1 day hearing and thereafter £750 - £3,000 per day for each additional day at the Tribunal hearing. Counsel’s fees for a preliminary hearing will be dependent on the length of the hearing and whether this takes place at the Tribunal or by telephone. You should expect this cost to be in the region of £500 - £1,500 plus VAT*. If a case settles once counsel has received the papers then the fee for the first day is still payable even if the hearing does not proceed.

2. Expert's fees

It may be necessary to obtain expert evidence if your claim involves personal injury or there is a dispute regarding disability. This cost is likely to be in the range of £750 -£1,500.

3. Mediation

If both parties agree to participate in mediation (not the services of ACAS) then the cost of the private mediator is usually shared by the parties. This cost is likely to be in the range of £750 -£1,500.

What work will be covered

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim. Please note that the above costs do not include any review of the final decision or any appeal:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation award;
  • ACAS early conciliation;
  • Drafting the ET1 claim or ET3 response and taking your instructions;
  • Settlement negotiations;
  • Drafting or considering a schedule of loss;
  • Preparing for a preliminary hearing, to include an agenda and list of issues;
  • Drafting a list of documents, exchanging documents and considering the other party’s disclosure list and documents;
  • Agreeing and preparing a bundle of documents for the final hearing;
  • Drafting and exchanging witness statements;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements;
  • Agreeing a chronology and/or cast list for the final hearing;
  • Preparation for the final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel;
  • Corresponding throughout with you, the other party, ACAS, the Tribunal, Counsel, your witnesses and any expert.

What are the likely timescales?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your case depends on the stage at which your case is concluded. If a settlement is reached without bringing a claim in the Tribunal then your case is likely to take 6 - 8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case could take 4-12 months, although if your case is very complex and a long hearing is required this could be a timescale of up to 18 months – 2 years.

Are there any funding options?

We offer an initial consultation by telephone or virtually, for a fixed fee of £275 plus VAT* (£330) to consider relevant documents and provide you with initial advice. You may wish to deal with the claim yourself and only have our advice or assistance in relation to some of the stages in order to reduce your costs. If this is your preference then we will be able to provide you with a fixed fee for certain types of work such as drafting the claim or response.

If you are bringing a claim then you may have an insurance policy (such as home insurance or car insurance) that covers the cost of your claim. If you have such a policy and your case has sufficient merit (at least 51%) then we can liaise with your insurer free of charge if you would like us to act for you under the terms of your insurance policy. We do not thereafter charge you any costs in respect of your claim; other solicitors may charge you a fee to liaise with your insurer and thereafter charge you interest on their unpaid costs and expect you to pay the balance of any costs that your insurer does not pay.

If your dispute results in you being given a Settlement Agreement then the costs for the advice you receive in relation to the Settlement Agreement are payable by your employer/former employer providing you sign the agreement, We do not charge you any fee to negotiate the terms of a Settlement Agreement and we do not charge you for any fees in excess of the fixed fee that is payable unless in exceptional circumstances when negotiations have become protracted. Other solicitors firms may charge you a fee to negotiate terms and/or if their total costs are not covered by the fixed fee.

*VAT Rate is currently 20% (as at 05/08/23)

Information about our employment law expertise

Your case will be handled by Natalie Kedge who has extensive expertise in dealing with Employment Tribunal claims and acting for both businesses and individuals in Employment Tribunal claims. Natalie specialises in Employment Law; this is the only area of Law that Natalie practises. Natalie qualified first as a barrister in 1993 and has now been practising as a solicitor since 1996. Click here to see Natalie’s profile.

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Tunbridge Wells

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