Employment Costs

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal.

Illustrative Fees – unfair or wrongful dismissal:

The majority of claims do not progress to a Final Hearing (in the Employment Tribunal) and are either settled or withdrawn beforehand. The following illustrations assume the work is carried out by a solicitor at our offices with an indicative hourly rate of £300 (£250 + £50 VAT)

Simple case: between £7,200 (£6,000 + £1,200 VAT) and £12,000 (£10,000  +£2,000 VAT)

Advising and representing you in the presentation of your claim and/or the defence in a straightforward employment tribunal claim involving a one-day hearing.

Medium complexity case: between  £12,000 (£10,000  +£2,000 VAT)  and £18,000 (£15,000 + £3,000 VAT)

Advising and representing you in the presentation or defence of a moderately complex employment tribunal claim involving a two to three day hearing.

High complexity case: between £18,000 (£15,000 + £3,000 VAT) and £30,00 (£25,000 + 5,000 VAT)

Advising and representing you in relation to a very complex employment tribunal claim involving a five to ten day hearing.

If your claim for unfair dismissal includes any other factors, for example discrimination or whistleblowing, the costs are likely to be affected and push the claim into the very complex range.

Fixed fees may be applicable on certain matters, for example raising Early Conciliation, assessing case merits, drafting a case management agenda, drafting policies, advising on short settlement agreements (which can typically range between £350-750 & £70-150 VAT). In all cases the complexity of a matter and/or the volume of documents to be considered would increase time consideration which would increase applicable costs. VAT is chargeable on all fixed fees 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 claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from 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 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 on your individual needs and would be charged on an hourly basis. 

Factors that could make a case more complex or affect the fee estimate:

The total cost of our service is dependent on, in addition to the facts of your case, a number of other factors that may render your case more complex or affect the fee estimates such as

  • The volume of documents relevant to a case
  • 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
  • The number of claimants or respondents involved
  • 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 involved
  • Whether a claim is withdrawn or settles early or goes to a final hearing
  • The number of preliminary hearings ahead of the final hearing
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
  • Allegations of discrimination
  • TUPE issues


The time that it takes from receiving initial instructions to a Final Hearing depends principally on the stage at which your claim is resolved. If, for example, a settlement is reached during Early Conciliation, the claim is likely to take four to six weeks.

If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, then its likely duration depends on the facts of the case, how complex the issues are and how long the hearing will last and/or when it can be listed by the Employment Tribunal. So Tribunal availability can impact on how long it may take to obtain a hearing. Any adjournments can cause delay. A simple unfair dismissal claim with a time estimate of a day could take around six to nine months to complete. In contrast, a complex unfair dismissal involving a three or more days hearing could take 15 months or longer to conclude.

BHP Law have in place financial arrangements with various introducers for most areas of work whereby we pay to the introducer a “referral fee”.  The referral fee is included in the fees quoted to you (it is not an additional fee payable by you).   If the work we carry out on your behalf is introduced to us by one of the referrers we have a financial arrangement with, you will be informed both by the introducer and also by ourselves when we send our terms of business to you after receiving your instructions to act for you. The referral fees for the arrangements we currently have in place with introducers are either a fixed amount ranging from £45 to £200 or a percentage of our costs which is 15%.

Disbursements/Other Expenses:

Disbursements are costs which are related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Whilst Employment Tribunal fees were abolished in July 2017 it has been confirmed they will be reintroduced in time.

Other costs that may be incurred on your behalf may include:

  • Travel costs. Travels costs are usually by rail (standard class open returns).
  • In some cases we may need to instruct a barrister to be used, to advise on a particular legal issue or for the advocacy at the hearing. The amount charged by barristers varies according to seniority (Year of Call) and would be agreed with you beforehand. Barrister's fees typically vary between £750 to £2,000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

The VAT applicable on other costs is charge at 20%.



We are specialist employment lawyers and have fee earners, solicitors and associates with up to 19 years’ experience in employment law and who deal with Employment Tribunal claims in England and Wales. Your matter will be dealt with by Employment Law specialist Anthony Willis who has many years’ experience in this area.

Your Employment Team

Anthony Willis

Senior Associate

Anthony worked at Browell Smith & Co Solicitors before qualifying and working at Thompsons Solicitors between 2003 and 2016. He joined BHP Law’s Employment…