Employment Tribunals

Unfair and wrongful dismissal claims

The range of our typical estimates for representing a respondent or claimant in the employment tribunal

Our pricing information applies to both businesses and private individuals, for bringing and defending claims.

Our fees typically range between £3,000 and £30,000 plus VAT although in some circumstances fees may be outside of this range. The factors that affect the cost of dealing with a Tribunal claim include, but are not limited to:

  • the complexity of the legal and factual issues
  • the number of witnesses
  • whether the other side is legally represented
  • the opponent’s compliance (or otherwise) with Orders
  • the number of hearings that are listed
  • the length of any hearings
  • postponements of hearings by the Tribunal service
  • whether the claim settles
  • whether any of the decisions are appealed by either party

The basis for calculating our fees

The fees above are calculated on a time basis according to the hourly rate charged by the fee earners who work on your matter. Hourly rates are set according to our fee earners’ roles and experience. These range from £120 for a trainee solicitor or paralegal to £275 for a partner. Hourly rates are subject to VAT.

You should note that the costs and expenses incurred by you with this firm are not, as a general rule, recoverable from the other party, even if you win. You will therefore be liable to pay your own costs.

Other costs related to the services you receive from us

The range of fees for the services above does not include disbursements which are costs incurred on behalf of our client. These are payable as follows:

  • If the case proceeds to either a Preliminary Hearing or a Full Merits Hearing, we may advise you to instruct a barrister (counsel) to represent you at the hearing. The cost will depend on the length of the hearing and the seniority of the barrister but as a guide is likely to start at £2,500 plus VAT for the first day and a further £1,000 plus VAT per additional day.
  • The cost of petrol or standard rail fare to travel to any meetings or Tribunal venues to deal with your claim, plus VAT.
  • Charges relating to the electronic transfer of funds using the Bank CHAPs system of £40 plus VAT per payment and replacement cost of £30 plus VAT for each issued cheque which has been lost

It is worth highlighting that Employment Tribunals might have to postpone hearings at a late stage, for example due to the unavailability of Judges to hear the case. Whilst this is not the fault of either party, it is likely that counsel’s fees or expert’s fees might still have to be paid. It also often happens that matters settle close to a final hearing and such fees will still have to be paid. 

In certain circumstances it may also be necessary for additional advice to be given which falls outside of the employment team’s area of expertise. For example, in relation to tax, the valuation of any shares as part of settlement negotiations, or on shareholder matters. For the avoidance of doubt, advice in these areas may be provided by other teams within Coffin Mew or external experts and their fees will be quoted and charged separately.

Agreeing our fees with you at the outset

At the outset of the matter we will be able to give you a far more specific estimate of our fees based on the circumstances you tell us about. This will be set out in a letter to you which we will ask you to sign before the work commences.

We will also discuss with you whether there are any alternative funding options available, for example via insurance.

Services included

Our services will include discussing the Tribunal claim with you; considering any relevant documentation and correspondence; advising you on the merits of the claim; advising you on the options for settlement and negotiating on your behalf if appropriate; advising you throughout the Tribunal process; preparing the formal claim or response (ET1 and ET3); representing you by corresponding with the Employment Tribunal, ACAS, the other side’s representative; attending any hearings; and instructing counsel to attend hearings on your behalf where appropriate.

We assume that:

  1. – where external information or documentation is required to prepare any documents, such information or documentation is provided both fully and promptly.
  2. – there are no significant delays in the Tribunal process and all relevant documents are provided at the outset.
  3. – the other party conducts themselves in a reasonable manner

These costs do not cover dealing with any appeals against the Employment Tribunal decision.

Timeframe for advice

It can be very difficult to predict how long a Tribunal matter will last from start to the conclusion of any final hearing as much depends on the complexity of the issues and the availability and responsiveness of the other side and the Tribunal itself. However, in our experience, from issue of a claim or defence to a claim being submitted, it can often take between 6 and 12 months to conclude. If the claim is complicated with numerous witnesses it could take even longer. If the matter settles or concludes before a final hearing it may be much shorter. During litigation the Tribunal will usually set specific deadlines for stages to be completed (such as preparing statements and a bundle). We will notify you of these as soon as they are received.

Conditional fee/Damages based agreement

We do not offer these services.

Costs awards

In some circumstances an Employment Tribunal may make a costs order against you if they feel that you (or us as your representative) have behaved unreasonably, abusively or disruptively in either the bringing or conducting of proceedings.

The costs order will be a specified sum and the maximum sum an Employment Tribunal can award cannot exceed £20,000.