Employment Tribunal Fees

As part of SRA transparency rules, we are obliged to publish details of our charges for assisting individuals to bring employment tribunal claims (unfair or wrongful dismissal) and for assisting businesses in defending such claims.

Every case is different and the cost of running a claim will differ due to a number of reasons including the complexity of the facts and applicable law and the views and willingness of the parties to achieve a settlement.

This makes giving exact pricing difficult and normally, we are only able to provide estimates of the likely costs. Broadly, the less work and time that is spent on a case to achieve a conclusion (by way of settlement or following a final hearing) will mean that there will be less to pay.

Having said this, we also understand that every client is different and we will try to cater for their needs, potentially offering fixed fees for certain steps or “no win, no fee” agreements in suitable cases. If such an agreement is suitable in your case, we will explain when you may have to make payments for our services yourself.

There may be other ways of funding your claim than paying privately, including cover under an insurance policy or trade union scheme. Examples of possible funding options can be found on our website here: https://cunningtons.co.uk/services/civil-litigation.


As mentioned, an exact price is often not possible to give. However, the range of costs that could apply are set out below:

  • Straightforward case: £3,500 – £10,000 (excluding VAT)
  • Complex case: £10,000 – £20,000 (excluding VAT)
  • Very complex or novel case: £20,000 – £60,000 (excluding VAT)

VAT is currently charged at 20% and is subject to change. So for example a fee of £3500.00 will attract VAT of £700.00.

Factors that could make a case more complex or expensive:

  • 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 automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
  • Whether the parties are prepared to and do engage in a formal alternative dispute resolution process

There will be an additional charge for attending a tribunal hearing (including an early, or preliminary hearing or a final hearing) of £1,000 to £3,500 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1-2 days, depending on the complexity of your case. However, we will often instruct a barrister to present the case in Court, and their fees may differ to the above. We have explained this further below.

Unless we are able to agree an alternative method of funding your claim, we charge on an hourly rate basis and our hourly charging rates range from £80.00 +VAT per hour to £250.00 +VAT per hour. Employment work is undertaken by or supervised by Mark Taylor who is a solicitor and partner. His profile can be found on our website.

For straightforward matters and to ensure that clients receive value for money, we may ask a trainee solicitor, paralegal or similar to undertake the relevant work under the supervision of a qualified solicitor and we will let you know who this is.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees, expert’s fees or barrister’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process but will normally ask you to pay these before we incur them on your behalf.

A barrister’s fees will differ significantly depending on experience and location. The amount of preparation and length of any hearing(s) will also have an impact on the barrister’s fees. Very broadly, a barrister’s fees could range from around £1,000 to £30,000 (excluding VAT). However, depending on experience, particular specialism and whether or not additional meetings or advice is sought, these fees could be greater. We will discuss the barrister’s fees with you before instructing them.

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 claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from the other party
  • Exploring 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 bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparation and attendance at final hearing, including instructions to Counsel

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be less. You may wish to handle the claim or parts of the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged 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 largely on the stage at which your case is resolved.

If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take somewhere between 4-8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case could take up to 18 months, depending on how complex it is and the amount of work required. Timescales can change depending on what happens during the conduct of a case. This is just an estimate and we be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.


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