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Our costs

Why Wilsons?

Our employment team regularly advise employees on a wide range of employment issues including bringing Employment Tribunal claims. There are strict time limits for bringing these claims so it is important that you take legal advice at the outset.

We will guide you through the complex tribunal process. We will provide commercial and practical advice about the merits of your claim to help you achieve the best outcome, including pre-claim early conciliation requirements (a process where employees have to notify ACAS of a potential claim, and intends to help resolve workplace disputes where possible).

All Employment Tribunal cases are conducted by our solicitors, with partners Stephen Oxley and Anthony Edwards both being listed in Legal 500.  Wilsons has also been awarded Out of London Law Firm of the Year by Chambers and Partners at this year's Chambers High Net Worth Awards. 

Key stages and tasks

The following services (tasks) are included within our range of fees set below for bringing 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 your claim.

Stage Tasks
Stage 1
  • Taking your initial instructions
  • Reviewing relevant documentation 
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation with ACAS or the other party to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing your claim and submitting this to the tribunal
Stage 2
  • Reviewing and advising on the defence from the other party
  • Advising you on merits of you successfully bringing a claim and the likely amount of compensation awarded
  • 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 a schedule of loss which sets out what you want 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
  • Updating you on merits

Stage 4

  • Taking 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 your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends on the complexity of your case, the length of the final hearing and the stage at which your case is resolved.

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

If the claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take between 6 - 18 months. This is an estimate and we will give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Estimate of fees

Our pricing for bringing claims for (ordinary) unfair or wrongful dismissal up to a final hearing are as follows:

Type of claim Estimate of costs

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

£8,000 - £11,000
plus VAT

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

£11,000 - £18,000
plus VAT

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

£18,000 - £30,000
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 £160 - £325 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 are 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
  • If there are complex preliminary issues that need to be discussed between the parties and/or the tribunal, such as whether you are disabled in employment law
  • If the defence includes a breach of contract claim against you 
  • 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 you, should you be successful in your 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 the documents are not disclosed to us in one go
  • If you do not provide us with relevant information in a timely fashion 
  • If your witnesses are reluctant to or refuse to attend the final hearing 
  • The number of turnarounds of the claim/defence and witness statements
  • If it is necessary to provide advice in managing publicity
  • If any of the hearings are adjourned
  • Documentation to finalise settlement being reached at any stage of the proceedings via ACAS 

What is not included in our estimates? 

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 - £160 plus VAT for a trainee or junior solicitor to attend. 
  • Medium complexity case – An hourly rate between £125 - £200 plus VAT for a trainee solicitor, junior solicitor or associate solicitor to attend.
  • High complexity case – An hourly rate between £125 - £325 plus VAT for a trainee solicitor, junior solicitor, associate solicitor 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 (depending on where the hearing 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.