Pricing information – Bringing or defending an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim

We understand that transparency and certainty about legal costs is just as important as providing pragmatic and succinct advice with excellent response times.

We pride ourselves on being open and transparent on costs from an initial enquiry to a successful conclusion.  We also regularly benchmark our costs against our local competitors.

We always carry out a cost benefit analysis on litigation matters, which requires us to provide a detailed breakdown of costs together with an assessment of the prospects of success and likely value of the claim.  This information is crucial to allow you to make informed decisions throughout the case.

We offer a range of fee models, including fixed fees, retainers and capped fees.  If we charge on a time spent basis, we will always provide an estimate or agree a cap on our time.

We do not undertake work on a “no-win, no-fee” basis, as in our experience such schemes rarely offer good value for us or our clients.  We would, however, be happy to discuss other funding options, including insurance backing.

We are required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Transparency Rules to publish information on the cost of bringing or defending an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim.  We have provided this generic information below, but would be happy to provide you with a bespoke quote for your matter.

Unfair or wrongful dismissal

We would estimate our fees for claiming or defending a standard unfair or wrongful dismissal claim at between £13,000 to £21,000 plus VAT*.  Our charges would be set out in a detailed breakdown at the start of the matter and would be based on the following hourly rates:

Partner:  £395-420 plus VAT*

Senior Associate: £330 plus VAT*

Associate:  £300 plus VAT*

Solicitor:  £230 plus VAT*

Trainee and paralegal:  £125 to £150 plus VAT*

Please note that the use of titles such as “Associate” or “Senior Associate” differ amongst firms and as such our rates may not be directly comparable with some of our competitors.  Our rates are normally reviewed and benchmarked in April each year.

Please Note: *VAT is charged at 20%.

Stages of a typical case

Our fees above cover the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the merits and likely value of the claim (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and is subject to change);
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing a claim or response;
  • Reviewing and advising on a claim or response from the other party;
  • Exploring and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss;
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
  • Taking, drafting and agreeing witness statements;
  • Preparing a bundle of documents;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • Instructing counsel for the final hearing.

We would expect the above stages (save for settlement discussions) to be required in all unfair and wrongful dismissal cases that proceed to a final hearing.

Additional work that may be required

The following factors may increase the potential costs of the matter:

  • Making or defending applications to the tribunal, including cost applications;
  • Amending a claim or defence or providing further information about an existing claim;
  • Where the other party is unrepresented or the representative for the other side acts in a disruptive manner;
  • Protracted settlement negotiations and drafting any final settlement agreement;
  • Dealing with any preliminary issues or hearings, such as deciding if a claim has been issued in time;
  • Preparing more than two witness statements, dealing with a large number of documents or a final hearing that lasts more than one day;
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer;
  • Dealing with any additional claims, e.g. discrimination claims;
  • Any appeals of any decision;
  • Any short-notice postponement of a hearing;
  • Agreeing a list of issues, chronology or cast list, if required by the tribunal;
  • Any conferences with counsel;
  • Attendance at final hearing with counsel.

Our team

We have six solicitors within our employment team all of whom specialise solely in employment matters and who are all experienced in employment tribunal litigation.  Details of our team and their expertise can be found here.  Every matter will have one principal solicitor with responsibility for the file, although they may be assisted on procedural and administrative tasks by a trainee solicitor or paralegal.  Regardless of who works on your matter they will be supervised by Ian Machray, partner and head of employment.


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

Counsel’s fees are estimated at between £1500 to £4500 plus VAT* (but depend on the experience of the advocate) for attending a single day tribunal hearing (including preparation).

You may also need to budget for printing and photocopying costs (for bundle preparation) and any required travel to the final hearing.  These costs would typically be in the region of £100 plus VAT*.

Please Note: *VAT is charged at 20%.

How long will an unfair or wrongful dismissal case take?

We will always try to resolve matters as quickly as possible.

If a settlement is reaching during pre-claim conciliation or at an early stage then the matter may be resolved within 1 or 2 weeks.

Alternatively, if litigation is issued and settlement is not reached, then the time to resolve the matter will largely be dependent on the employment tribunal.  You may wish to note that the tribunal statistics published in September 2018 state that the average time to conclude an unfair dismissal case was between 25 and 29 weeks.

These timescales are just an estimate and we will be able to give you a more accurate indication once we have your instructions and as the matter progresses.

Next steps

The above information is naturally generic in nature.  Please do get in touch directly so we can discuss your case in detail and we can provide you with a bespoke cost breakdown together with an assessment of the merits and value of your case.