Employment tribunals


Price Transparency Guidance

Please find below a guide to our pricing and the costs which you might incur if you instruct us to bring or defend an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal.

Our rates for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

It can be difficult to provide an accurate figure for the conduct of employment litigation, given its potential complexity an also the inherently unpredictable nature of any type of litigation. Fees vary significantly from case to case. How long a case takes to conclude and therefore its final cost depends on a number of factors, such as the factual and legal complexity of the matter, the quantity of documents which are relevant to the issues, the number of witnesses involved and the conduct of the opposing party in bringing or defending the claim.

Our standard hourly charges are £260 plus VAT for a Partner and £220 plus VAT for a Solicitor. We charge for the conduct of litigation on a timed costs basis and is not based on a fixed fee. The time we charge for includes time spent drafting correspondence and other documents, attendance upon you in person and on the telephone, attendance upon third parties and attendance at the Employment Tribunal.

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims, or to provide further information about an existing claim;
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person;
  • Making or defending a costs application;
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the Claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
  • The number of witnesses and documents involved in the matter;
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if the dismissal is alleged to have been as a result of whistleblowing;
  • There are allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

Generally, we would allow 1 – 2 days for the Tribunal hearing, depending on the complexity of your case. The Tribunal could last longer than this if it is more complex and there are many witnesses to examine.

The following price ranges are for our timed costs only, and are guidelines only:

If you are an employee:

  • Simple case: £5,000 – £7,500 (plus VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £7,500 – £12,000 (plus VAT)
  • High complexity case: £12,000 – £ 15,000  (plus VAT)

If you are an employer:

  • Simple case: £7,500 – £12,000 (plus VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £12,000 – £ 15,000 (plus VAT)
  • High complexity case: £15,000 – £20,000 (plus VAT)

Our fees for an employer are usually higher than for an employee, as typically more work needs to be done. For an employer, there are often more documents to disclose and more witnesses to prepare statements for, and sometimes the duty to take the lead in some administrative tasks such as the preparation of the trial bundles of documents.

Disbursements are charged in addition to this.


Disbursements are costs which we incur on your behalf and are costs, other than our fees, related to your case. They are payable to third parties and can include Court fees, travel fees and Barrister’s (Counsel’s) fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Counsel’s fees are estimated between £750.00 to £2,000.00 plus VAT per day for attending an Employment Tribunal Hearing (including preparation). The actual fee will be determined by the complexity of the case and the seniority and experience of the barrister.

Key stages of the claim

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and is subject to change);
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing your claim or response;
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the other party;
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process, including the possible use of mediation;
  • Preparing or considering a Schedule of Loss;
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing;
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or a cast list;
  • Preparing the bundle of documents;
  • Preparation for and attendance at Final Hearing, including preparing instructions to Counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced.

Awarding and payment of costs

Lu Oliphant does not handle cases on a no win – no fee basis (otherwise known as a conditional fee arrangement).

Please note that the usual practice in an Employment Tribunal (unlike a trial in Court) is that each party will be responsible for paying their own costs, irrespective of the outcome. This means that you will be responsible for paying all of your own legal costs even if your case is successful.

How long will my matter 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 is likely to take 4  – 6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 – 10 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 matter progresses.

Who will be responsible for my mater and how experienced are they?

All of our legal work is undertaken by qualified, dedicated and highly experienced solicitors who are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The full details of all of our solicitors can be found on the People page of this website.