Wrongful or Unfair Dismissal

Our estimated pricing for bringing and defending claims for wrongful or unfair dismissal
Wrongful Dismissal:
£2,500 – £4,500 (excluding VAT)
Simple case:
£6,000 – £8,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case:
£12,000 – £15,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case:
£20,000-£25,000 (excluding VAT)

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;
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer;
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing at the estimated fee of £1,400 – £2,000 per day (excluding VAT) and travelling expenses depending at which Court your case is being heard. Generally, we would allow 1 to 3 days depending on the complexity of your case.

The above costs are based on an hourly rate of between £200 and £300 plus VAT per hour with VAT being charged on all fees at 20%, depending on the complexity of the case.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as experts’ fees. They will be payable in addition to the above fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. We will confirm what disbursements are likely once we know the details of your case.

Counsel’s fees estimated between £2,000 to £3,000 per day plus VAT (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

Alternatives to Paying Privately

There may be other options to funding your legal costs rather than you paying for these privately, as detailed below:

  • legal expenses insurance- your home and contents insurance, car insurance or even credit card insurance may cover you for any employment claims and is worth looking at this document in the first instance;
  • trade union or other membership organisation- you may be affiliated to a professional body who may agree to assist you with your legal costs or provide legal representation  and is also worth checking;
  • Damages-based agreement (DBA)- A DBA is similar to a “no win, no fee” agreement and in some cases we may be able to offer this type of arrangement to clients following a thorough case assessment which will be charged at our usual hourly rate.  If a DBA is suitable in the circumstances and in your interests, then we can discuss the possibility of a DBA with you.  You need to be aware though that even if you win your case, your legal fees will be deducted from any sum that you are awarded at the tribunal to cover such costs.  Legal costs are generally not recoverable in an employment tribunal.  Under the DBA, your legal costs will be charged at a fixed percentage rate, usually 35%, and this will be deducted from any award. The DBA will not cover any disbursements and you will still be expected to pay for these, such as expert or barrister’s fees up front.  If you lose at the tribunal, under the DBA you will not be liable for the payment of our fees, only the payment of any disbursements.  Whilst legal costs are not generally payable in a tribunal, if you lose your case and a costs order is made against you, then you will be liable for any legal costs the Tribunal Judge assesses in the circumstances.  This is incredibly rare in employment tribunal cases and would need you to act unreasonably in the circumstances.
  • Running the tribunal procedure yourself– the tribunal procedure is intended to be user-friendly and accessible to all so there is always the option for you to run your own case if required.  We can also help you at various stages in the tribunal process as and when you need assistance, for example, drafting witness statements or putting together a Schedule of Loss.  We are always happy to be as involved as you need us to be.

Key stages

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 merits and likely compensation (to be revisited throughout the matter)


Enter into pre-claim conciliation and liaising with ACAS where this is mandatory to explore the possibility of settlement


Preparing claim or response


Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process


Preparing or considering a schedule of loss; preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing;


Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents; preparing bundle of documents


Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses


Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness evidence


Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party


Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and any documents requested by the tribunal


Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including 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. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

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 12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take around 6-12 months for a simple claim.  For a more complex matter, it could be as long as 12-18 months for your case to be heard at a final Hearing, including any preliminary hearings. 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.

The pandemic has meant that cases are taking longer to progress through the tribunal system and there have been significant time delays experienced as a result.

Who will carry out the work?

Rachel Bateman, Employment Solicitor. For further information click here; and
Hannah Strawbridge, Employment Solicitor. For further information click here; and
Jennifer Andrews, Employment Solicitor. For further information click here.

Verona Cocks is the partner with overall responsibility for the department and will deal with the necessary managerial aspects, but is not an employment law specialist and will not be undertaking the work.