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Employment Tribunals

We have experience of advising both employees and employers in numerous types of employment related issues. Some areas that we are asked to advise on are:

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Wrongful Dismissal
  • Constructive Unfair Dismissal
  • Sex and Race Discrimination
  • TUPE Transfers
  • Conducting and Defending Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Compromise Agreements

Our services

We provide advice and assistance generally in respect of employment related matters, including those which may end up before the Employment Tribunal.

We provide some indicative costs below for employment related work in connection with unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.  This allows you to obtain a rough and ready indication of the likely costs that might be incurred in brining or defending a claim for such claims with us.  

All of the costs indications we provide, include the following key stages: 

  • Taking initial instructions, reviewing the paperwork and advising on the likely merits of the claim and likely compensation to be recovered;
  • Entering into pre-action correspondence;
  • Preparing a claim or response;
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim and/or response from the other party;
  • Exploring potential settlement option and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss;
  • Preparing for and attending at a preliminary hearing to identify the issues and obtain case management directions (other types of preliminary hearing, such as making or responding to a strike out application are not included);
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and seeking to agree bundles for the final hearing;
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements and their likely impact upon your case if that evidence is accepted;
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or a list of persons involved to assist the Tribunal;
  • Preparation and attendance at a final hearing, including instructions to counsel.  

Our costs

We typically charge by the hour for work done on brining or defending an employment matter for wrongful or unfair dismissal. It is only possible to provide a range of potential costs, and even that may vary depending on the issues that might need to be determined and the number of applications that might be made which are not considered in the key steps set out above.  

A range of costs for a typical wrongful or unfair dismissal claim would be:

A simple case:  £5,000 plus VAT to £10,000 plus VAT (based on a one-day final hearing)

A medium complexity case: £10,000 plus VAT to £20,000 plus VAT (based on a two day hearing) 

A high complexity case: £20,000 plus VAT upwards.

A high complexity case could take many days, sometimes, up to many weeks, and the overall likely fees will depend on the number of issues and likely length of the final hearing.  

These stages set out above are an indication of the likely key stages in a typical unfair dismissal/wrongful dismissal claim.  Sometimes, additional, or fewer, steps will be required, for example, to make or respond to an application to strike out a party’s case.  The costs indications provided below would need to be adjusted to reflect the additional, or fewer, steps that might actually take place.

Our hourly rates for contentious employment matters range between £250 plus VAT to £400 plus VAT, depending on the level of individual dealing with matters.  Which level of individual is appropriate to deal with any given matter will depend on the issues raised and their complexity.

What makes a matter more complicated?

Matters can be more complicated by further steps that normal being required.  Some examples of those would be:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims, strike out claims, seek deposit orders, vary directions timetables and so on;
  • Defending claims brough by litigants in person, because the Tribunal often requires the represented party to take more steps to prepare the case by doing such things as preparing bundles which might otherwise be prepared by the other side, and inevitably, litigants in person require more time and effort to address matters that would be the case for an experienced legal representative;
  • Making or defending a costs application (normally, the Employment Tribunal does not award costs, such such applications are rare, but they do happen in some limited circumstances);
  • Complex preliminary issues, such as whether a claimant is disabled (if not agreed), and which might require that be determined by a trial of a preliminary matter, instead of it being dealt with together with all other issues at the final trial;
  • The number of witnesses involved and the amount of documentation that needs to be reviewed;
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim (e.g. a dismissal because of whistleblowing); and
  • If there are issues of discrimination linked to the dismissal in some way.  

Our regulators require we provide certain information relating to the provision of advice and representation to employers and employees in relation to defending or brining claims before the Employment Tribunal  for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal.  In these types of claim, whether acting for the employer or the employee, the range of likely costs to be incurred will be roughly similar.  As no two claims are ever the same, it is always difficult to indicate overall likely costs.  However, we are able to provide way of indication:

1. Hourly rates

Our hourly rates will be between £250 plus VAT to £400 plus VAT.  All of our contested employment work is based on hourly rate fees.  

2.  Contingency Fee Agreements (aka Damages Based Agreements) or Conditional Fee Agreements

We do not typically enter into these types of funding arrangement. 

3.  Insurance Funding

Sometimes, individuals and businesses have insurance policies that provide for legal expenses funding in connection with employment claims.  Such cover might exist under a typical home insurance policy, for example, and it is important that all insurance documentation is checked to ascertain the scope of such cover. 

Sometimes, insurers will request their own panel solicitors provide legal advise.  There are limitations on an insurers ability to do this.  Typically, where legal expense funding is provided by an insurer, the insured will often have the legal right to insist on a solicitor of choice, rather than appoint panel solicitors.  Firms that provide services as a member of a panel often use junior, non-solicitor members of staff.  This is not an approach CSK Legal adopts and those that conduct employment claims will always be qualified solicitors with experience and expertise in employment law.  


In a typical wrongful dismissal or unfair dismissal claim, we would need to retain counsel to present your claim at the final hearing and, potentially, at a preliminary hearing although we would not ordinarily do this for case management hearings. 

Counsel’s fee are included in the figures given above, on the basis of counsel most suitable for theta type of work is likely to be instructed.  Ultimately, barristers charge different amounts, depending on their own experience, expertise and seniority.  Barristers fees can vary considerably, it would not be uncommon to see daily charges within the range of £1,000 plus VAT per day to £6,000 plus VAT per day.

No other expenses are likely to be incurred, given that bundles are now prepared electronically for the vast majority of Employment Tribunal hearings, although it is possible that directions could be given for paper bundles and courier fees might therefore be incurred, of perhaps c. £30 plus VAT to ensure same day delivery to the Tribunal (this is based on a local delivery, within 30 miles of our offices).

Tribunal Fees

As the Employment Tribunal no longer requires a payment of fees to commence a claim, there are likely to be no other expenses in an average claim.

Adverse Costs

Normally, the employment tribunals do not award costs where a party loses.  There are, however, very limited circumstances in which this can happen, the most common of which is where a claim or defence has no realistic prospect of succeeding, or where a party has behaved unreasonably.  We would tell you if we believed that there was a likelihood of such an order being made as part of our review of your case, and/or as part of the ongoing assessment of the matter whilst we act for you.    


The rate of VAT applicable on the above costs (where VAT is indicated) is 20%.

Timing and Progression

How quickly a matter progresses will depend upon the issues involved.  However, by way of a rough indication, an average wrongful dismissal or unfair dismissal claim is likely to be progressed by us within the following timescales:

  • Initial instruction to letter of advice – c. one to two weeks from initial meeting;
  • Draft ET1 (complaint form) or ET3 (response form) – two weeks from receipt of full instructions and relevant documentation;
  • Advice on the ET1/ET3, c. two weeks of receipt of full instructions and relevant documentation;
  • The timing of the Tribunal can vary for processing claims and the directions it provides can differ from case to case.  Unpaid wages claims, for example, tend to be listed fairly promptly, within a month or so from receipt by the Tribunal of the relevant forms, whereas an unfair dismissal complaint could take much longer to reach a final hearing, or say six to nine months or more from its commencement to conclusion, assuming a one or two day final hearing.  Claims that require substantial listing at the Tribunal, for example, 15 days, would likely take 18 months or so to secure a final hearing, but much does depend on which region the case proceeds in, with these indications being based on the Midlands Region.   

Who would undertake your employment related work?

Craig Kelly and Samantha Pountney undertaken employment law related work at CSK Legal. You can click on their names for more details about them and their experience. We do not allow non-solicitor staff to undertaken employment related work, so you can rest assured that those undertaking it have the relevant skills, expertise and experience.