Average prices for unfair and wrongful dismissal Employment Tribunal (ET) claims

We aim to provide our customers with a range of flexible pricing alternatives. These cost frameworks can include the standard ‘pay as you go’ hourly rate model to fixed and capped fee structures.

Our standard hourly rates vary depending upon the volume of cases received and whether you are a subscription-based customer or not.

The tables below should provide you with a clearer picture as to what you are likely to pay.

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Unfair and wrongful dismissal ET case management and representation

ESP Law fees

Our standard hourly rates are:
Subscription customers £155 to £215 plus VAT per hour, depending upon case volumes
Non-subscription customers £225 to £255 plus VAT per hour, depending upon case volumes

The above hourly rates apply to all work carried out by the highly experienced legal team within ESP Law or qualified employment solicitors at Ward Hadaway.

We have two service models that can apply to ET claims. These are "Standard" and "Complex" claims. The different service models reflect how we agree, with you, to manage and run your ET claim(s), and are designed to your specific needs.

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 automatically unfair dismissal claim e.g. if the Claimant was dismissed after blowing the whistle on the employer
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
Example capped fee structures for unfair dismissal claims under the Standard service model we can accommodate are:
Case with 1 day ET with no more than 3 witnesses (including the Claimant) Depending on the agreed hourly rate a £5K - £8K plus VAT capped price.
Case with 2 day ET with no more than 5 witnesses (including the Claimant) Depending on the agreed hourly rate a £7.5K - £11K plus VAT capped price.
Case with 3 day ET with no more than 7 witnesses (including the Claimant) Depending on the agreed hourly rate a £10K - £15K plus VAT capped price.
There will usually be a capped 'add-on' cost of £400 - £500 plus VAT for attendance at any telephone preliminary hearings (this is included in the capped fee).

The above prices do not include disbursements or barrister's fees for attendance and representation at the hearing. Please see below for barrister's fees (disbursements).

Unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims conducted under the complex model have significantly varying costs. These depend on the factors outlined in the above table and are defined by the hourly rates agreed between us. For example, this could cost between £6,000-£15,000 for a one-day claim, £8,000-£18,000 for a two-day claim and £10,000-£20,000 for a three-day claim.

All fees shown are subject to VAT at 20%.

Disbursements for unfair and wrongful dismissal ET claims

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The typical disbursements that are charged in unfair dismissal claims include:

  • Barrister's fees
  • Expert witnesses
  • Courier costs
  • Travel costs and accommodation

We do not charge for photocopying, ring binders or other stationery.

Barrister's fees

It is typically difficult to provide a definitive guide as all barristers are self-employed and chambers are free to set their own charging rates and fees. This means different chambers can charge varying rates.

The rates outlined below are based on barristers’ fees we have been charged and/or quoted in respect of unfair dismissal claims. Senior barristers also tend to charge significantly more, and QC fees in particular will be high. The figures are for guidance only as ESP Law has no influence over the rates charged.

A ‘refresher fee’ is an additional payment made per extra day of hearing. For example, if the hearing is listed for three days, you would pay the ‘brief fee’ plus two ‘refresher’ fees.

Call 1 day 2 days Half day CMD
0 to 6 £500-£900 Brief Fee £1,000-£2,000
Refresher £650-£850
£500-£600 £500-£700
7 to 12 £1,000-£3,000 Brief Fee £1,650-£3,000
Refresher £1,000
£700-£900 £650-£1,000
13+ £1,500-£3,500 Brief Fee £2,000-£5,000
Refresher £1,250
£1,000 £850-£2,000

All fees shown are subject to VAT at 20%.

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 (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing the claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from other party
  • Exploring the 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
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Preparing the bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • The preparation of witnesses and drafting brief to counsel for attendance at final hearing

The stages above are only an indication, however, if some 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 to suit your individual needs.

How long will my matter take?

From taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage as which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 6-12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case may take between 35-78 weeks. These are estimates. ESP Law will provide a more accurate timescale once we have more detailed information from you, and as the matter progresses.

Will my insurance cover the fees?

You may have other funding options available – such as cover under an insurance policy – which we can talk about during our initial discussion. We recommend you check beforehand if you are covered under the Employers’ Liability Insurance or your Directors’ and Officers’ insurance policy.

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