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Employment Tribunal claim for employers

If an employee or former employee has brought a claim against you for unfair dismissal, discrimination, or any other employment claim, we understand this will have a significant impact on your business. We can support and represent you throughout the claim, advising you on the best course of action.

Our fees for representing your business are based on a rate per hour; however, once we have had our initial consultation and better understand the claim against you, we will advise you on the overall costs.

Initial consultation

With over 30 years of combined experience, our Employment Litigation team is well-equipped to assist employers with a wide array of employment law concerns. While we offer support on various matters such as settlement agreements, restrictive covenants, and general staff management advice, we specialise in defending against tribunal claims, notably those involving unfair dismissal and discrimination.

Below, you'll find our team members and their fees for the initial consultation. Please note that Howard Robson, partner and business head of the employment litigation department, supervises every member of our team.

In our initial consultation, which typically lasts 60 minutes, we'll discuss the specifics of the claim filed against you. We'll thoroughly explain the available options and discuss any associated consequences or concerns.

Our fees include any pre-consultation calls and a thorough review of essential documentation. This ensures we grasp the fundamental facts about the claim before the initial consultation.  

Fees to represent my business at tribunal

If you decide to engage our services, our representation fees are determined based on an hourly rate, as outlined below:

Occasionally, a Paralegal or trainee Solicitor may assist one of our Solicitors with your claim. If this occurs, we'll inform you accordingly. Their hourly rates are £170 + VAT (@20%). Additionally, throughout your claim, you'll interact with our Legal Assistants, Samantha Grant and Fin Gardiner.

Our fee rates per hour can also depend on your litigation funding method. You may have the benefit of a legal expenses insurance policy (or a Directors and Officers liability policy) that may indemnify the business for legal fees and compensation (subject to their terms). It is strongly recommended that you contact your insurers or brokers to enquire about the availability of cover for our services. 

If your insurer imposes a cap on the hourly rate they cover for your legal costs, there's potential to negotiate this with them. Feel free to discuss this matter with us. In some cases, you may need to contribute to our fees or cover any shortfall between our hourly rates and the rate your insurer will pay, especially if their fee structure is restrictive. We're here to address any concerns and discuss options with you.

At the start of the claim against you, we'll provide you with a comprehensive overview of the work we'll undertake on your behalf, along with an estimated timeline tailored to your specific circumstances. We'll maintain regular communication throughout the process to inform you of any developments, including changes necessitating further action or potential cost adjustments.

Based on our years of experience, we've estimated that costs for cases involving unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal typically fall within the following ranges:

 Complexity of Case


 Simple Tribunal hearing (1-2 days) £12,000 - £20,000
 Medium Tribunal hearing (3-5 days) £18,000 - £30,000
 High Tribunal hearing (5 days +)  £30,000 - £60,000


These costs are exclusive of VAT (@20%) and advocacy costs.

These fees are typically spread over 9 to 18 months. From experience, we have found that this extended timeframe helps businesses manage the funding of their claim and assists with cash flow.

If the matter proceeds to a final hearing, we usually instruct a barrister to represent you. For more details, please see the Advocacy Costs section below.

All cases in an Employment Tribunal are different. By nature, litigation is adversarial and unpredictable; hence, we are flexible in responding to the many facets a claim may have.

simple claim typically involves unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal without discrimination.

medium claim is typically more complex and may contain additional claims alongside unfair or wrongful dismissal, such as discrimination claims or whistleblowing.

High-complexity cases may include multi-factor discrimination, high-value claims, extensive documentation and materials, whistleblowing claims, preliminary case management, and trial readiness hearings.

Medium and high complexity cases typically require more time dedicated to defending your claim, consequently affecting your overall costs, as outlined previously.

Other factors which would affect the complexity of the case and, consequently, the costs include the following: 

  • If a preliminary hearing is required (typical in medium and high-complexity cases). These claims are usually more complex, and judicial case management is beneficial in most cases. It can also prompt mediation or judicial assessment.
  • Where there are applications to the Tribunal for specific orders to be made, for example, if we wish to apply to strike out the claim.
  • If the claimant is disabled, further hearings may be required. The employment tribunal may also issue additional directions, medical evidence, and expert witnesses may be required.
  • Judicial mediation is occasionally recommended by the Judge before proceeding.

In all claims, a review of the documentation is required. Depending on the complexity of the claim against you, there may be an excessive number of witnesses to interview, documents to read or lengthy email chains to review. We will advise you during the course of your claim if any additional time is required.

The process of defending the claim

Once you have instructed us to proceed in defending your claim, our fee includes the following work on your behalf: 

  • Review the relevant documents and take instructions from you.
  • Draft an ET3 (response form for your claim) for your approval and file the same with the Tribunal.
  • Seek to negotiate a settlement through ACAS Early Conciliation where possible and commercially appropriate. 
  • Prepare and represent you at the preliminary hearing. 
  • Conduct the relevant administrative steps to prepare for the tribunal hearing and review the documentation submitted by the claimant, including their schedule of loss.
  • Prepare the necessary paperwork for the tribunal hearing, including the witness statements and bundle of documents.
  • Finally, if required, we will instruct a barrister to proceed with the final hearing.

Unless otherwise requested, our fees will not include:

  • Deal with any taxation implications
  • Deal with any appeal you may wish to take or defend against any final determination by a Tribunal or Court.
Advocacy costs

In addition to our costs, if the claim progresses to a tribunal, there will be additional advocacy costs. This entails engaging an independent barrister to represent you, with fees varying based on the barrister's seniority level. The selection of a barrister is determined by the complexity of the claim and the trial duration.

A barrister's brief fee typically ranges from approximately £2,000 to £2,500 (plus VAT), which covers the initial preparation and the first day of the trial. Subsequently, a refresher fee is charged for each additional trial day, typically ranging from £1,250 to £2,000 (plus VAT). A more experienced barrister may be instructed for more complex cases, resulting in higher costs.

We will consult you before making any instructions. We will discuss the barrister we recommend based on our experience with them and obtain a fee quotation well before the trial.

Alternatively, we have the experience and expertise in-house to represent you if the claim proceeds to the Tribunal. Costs typically range from £1,500 to £2,000 plus VAT (@20%) for a one-day trial. For a typical two-day trial (generally our maximum trial length), advocacy costs are likely to be between £3,000 and £4,000 plus VAT (@20%), along with any applicable travel expenses.

If your trial is scheduled as a 'multi-day' hearing (lasting longer than two days), we will provide you with a separate fee quote, as the complexity of your case requires careful consideration. Typically, for cases listed longer than two days, we'll engage a barrister.

We have excellent relations with London and local-based barristers chambers and can obtain very competitive fee rates. We understand you have a business to run, and we acknowledge the costs must be both reasonable and transparent. 

Third-party payments

It may be necessary to make payments (known as 'disbursements') to third parties on your behalf, which are payable by you. These may include experts' fees, travel expenses (charged at 40p per mile), photocopying, and barrister's fees, as mentioned earlier. We'll inform you of the likelihood of incurring these costs at the outset of defending your claim and provide updates as needed. We'll always obtain your approval before proceeding with any disbursements.

If you prefer, you can set an upper limit on our charges and disbursements (excluding VAT @20% in both cases), with the understanding that we will seek your authorisation before surpassing that limit. If you choose to do so, please provide us with a written indication of the upper limit you wish to set. 

Other Employment Law Services

We draft tailored employment documentation, including employment contracts (for all levels of seniority), policies and procedures, and sub-contractor agreements. 

We offer the following price structures for drafting such documents:

  • Simple employment contract/section 1 statement: £300 + VAT
  • Comprehensive employment contract: £500-£750 + VAT
  • Director’s service agreement: £750-£1,000 + VAT
  • Policies and procedures: £250 + VAT each 
  • GDPR documents: £150 + VAT each
  • Sub-contractor agreement: £350-£500 + VAT
  • Settlement Agreements: £500 + VAT 
  • Employment contract and staff handbook: Quote on enquiry

The above costs may vary depending on the complexity of the documents, but we will always discuss this with you before carrying out any work.

Alternatively, you may consider our Peace of Mind service if you are looking for ongoing employment and human resources support. 

Please contact our Employment Litigation team for friendly advice and support. You can call 023 8063 9311 or email enquiries@warnergoodman.co.uk.


We appreciate that should a claim be brought against you, you will be keen to move forward with as little disruption to your business as possible. As you can see, both the timelines and costs are contingent upon the specifics of each case and its circumstances. Feel free to reach out to us today at 023 8063 9311 or via email at employment@warnergoodman.co.uk to initiate a discussion about your situation.

To speak to one of our experts please call us