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At ESP Solicitors, delivering the highest quality legal service is of utmost importance. However, we also know that together with quality, the price of our services is likely to be important to you when looking for an employment lawyer.

We have therefore set out below, information about our pricing and the costs you might incur if you instruct us to bring or defend an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal. We hope you find this helpful.

For a tailored and bespoke quote, let’s talk!

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 we have 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. Cater Leydon Millard Limited 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.

Who will provide the legal services?

Any of our legal advisors are able to offer this support. You can view our legal team and bios by clicking here.


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