“The staff at Wilsons are always available, reporting back in a timely fashion. Nothing is too much trouble and the advice has been excellent. ”

Legal 500, 2022

“Amazing legal support on any HR and employee matters. They are very responsive, client-friendly, understand the complexities of sensitive situations and are our go-to firm when it comes to HR/employee matters.”

Legal 500, 2022
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Our costs

Why Wilsons?

Our employment team regularly advise both individuals and businesses on a wide range of employment issues including bringing and defending Employment Tribunal claims. There are strict time limits for bringing and responding to claims so it is important that you take legal advice at the outset.

We appreciate that legal proceedings can be both costly and time-consuming. At the early stages of a claim, we will provide advice on your chances of successfully bringing or defending the claim and the risks to you or your organisation so that you can decide whether you want to pursue or defend the claim. We will provide strategic advice throughout in order to achieve the best outcome.

All employment tribunal cases are conducted by qualified solicitors in the team, with partners Stephen Oxley and Anthony Edwards both being listed in Legal 500. 

Wilsons has also been ranked in this year's Chambers High Net Worth Awards and the Times Best Law Firms for 2021.

Key stages and tasks

The following services (tasks) are included within our range of fees below for bringing or defending claims for ordinary unfair or wrongful dismissal up to a final hearing. A final hearing is where a judge decides whether you have successfully won or defended the claim. 

Stage Tasks
Stage 1
  • Taking your initial instructions
  • Advising you on merits of successfully bringing or defending the  claim, the risks and the likely amount of compensation that could be awarded
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation with ACAS or the other party to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing your claim or defence and submitting this to the tribunal
Stage 2
  • If acting for the claimant, reviewing and advising on the defence from the other party and updating you on the merits of your case
  • Exploring whether the other party is open to settlement and negotiating terms
  • Agreeing a list of the legal and factual issues the tribunal will need to decide at the final hearing and a chronology of key events
  • Preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing (a hearing to determine the issues in the claim and to make arrangements for the final hearing), if required, for up to 1 hour
  • Preparing or considering the schedule of loss which sets out what you or the claimant wants to receive

Stage 3

  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents for the final hearing
  • Reviewing new documents disclosed by the other party and updating you on the merits of your case
  • Preparing a bundle of documents for the hearing
Stage 4
  • Meeting with witnesses to take witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing the content with witnesses
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
  • Giving instructions to Counsel to represent you at the final hearing

Our estimate of fees will reduce if not all of the tasks are required, for example, if the tribunal does not require a preliminary hearing.

You may wish to handle the claim or defence yourself and instruct us to advise in relation to some of the stages. This can be arranged based on your individual needs.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking initial instructions to the final resolution of the matter depends on the complexity of the case, the length of the final hearing and the stage at which the case is resolved.

If a settlement is reached during the pre-claim conciliation process, the case is likely to take 2 – 6 weeks.

If the claim proceeds to a final hearing, the case is likely to take between 9 - 18 months. This is an estimate and we will be able to provide a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Estimate of fees

Our costs for bringing or defending claims for ordinary unfair or wrongful dismissal up to a final hearing range as follows:

Type of claim Estimate of costs

Simple case
This is likely to be a 1 – 2 day hearing.

£10,000 - £18,000
plus VAT

Medium complexity case
This is likely to be a 3 – 5 day hearing.

£18,000 - £35,000
plus VAT

High complexity case
This is likely to be a 6 – 10 day hearing. 

£35,000 upwards
plus VAT

We have listed factors below that may increase the estimate of costs and/or could make a case more complex (see Factors that will determine your actual estimate).

This estimate has been calculated by using our hourly fees which range from £125 - £500 plus VAT. An actual estimate based on the specifics of your case can be obtained by contacting the Head of Employment here.

Factors that will determine your actual estimate

The following factors are likely to impact and increase the estimate of fees:

  • The number of defendants and claimants
  • If  you or the claimant is bringing:
  • An automatic unfair dismissal claim (where the alleged reason for the dismissal is connected to the employee exercising specific rights such as blowing the whistle) and/or
  • Additional or complex claims such as discrimination
  • Defending claims brought by litigants in person
  • If there are complex preliminary issues that need to be discussed between the parties and/or the tribunal, such as whether you/the claimant is disabled
  • If the defence includes a breach of contract claim against you/the claimant  
  • If additional documents are required to assist the tribunal at the final hearing such as a cast list (list of the names and roles of key individuals)
  • If additional hearings are necessary such as a remedy hearing (a hearing where the judge decides what to award should you/the calimant be successful in your/their claim)
  • If it is necessary to make or respond to tribunal applications, such as applications to amend the claim, for witnesses to attend the final hearing or for costs
  • If Counsel need to be instructed earlier than Stage 4, for example, to advise on complex claims or to attend the preliminary / additional hearings
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If you do not provide us with relevant information in a complete or timely fashion or if relevant documents are not provided to us in one go
  • If your witnesses are reluctant to or refuse to attend the final hearing 
  • If any of the hearings are adjourned
  • Documentation to finalise settlement being reached at any stage of the proceedings

What is not included in our estimates?  

1. Costs to attend the final hearing.

There will be an additional charge for a trainee solicitor or solicitor to attend a final hearing. The hourly rates will depend on the type of claim, the solicitor responsible for your case and your personal preference as to who you want to attend:

  • Simple case – An hourly rate between £125 - £275 plus VAT for a trainee or associate solicitor to attend. 
  • Medium complexity case – An hourly rate between £125 - £300 plus VAT for a trainee solicitor, associate solicitor or senior associate to attend.
  • High complexity case – An hourly rate between £125 - £500 plus VAT for a trainee solicitor, associate solicitor, senior associate or partner to attend. 

2. Disbursements.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties and are not included in our fee estimates above. The likely disbursements for an ordinary unfair or wrongful dismissal claim are:

  • barrister fees
  • travel / accommodation costs (if the hearing is held in person and depending on where it takes place)

VAT will be payable on all disbursements. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Barrister fees for representing you at the final hearing (and including preparation) will  depend on the experience of the barrister, the complexity of the case, the number of days the hearing takes place and their travel costs.

For an indication on the likely costs for a barrister, please click here.