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Employment Tribunal claim for employees

To those considering pursuing a claim against their current or former employer for unfair or wrongful dismissal, we empathise with the uncertainty you may be experiencing and the number of questions you may have. Our commitment is to provide unwavering support and representation throughout your claim journey, offering tailored guidance specific to your circumstances. 

When it comes to financing your case, you have two main avenues available: legal expense insurance through your home contents policy or private payment. Legal aid isn't available for employment disputes. However, in select cases, we might consider a 'damages-based agreement,' which we'll explore during your initial consultation, ensuring you're informed about all available options.

Initial consultation

Our Employment Litigation team has over 30 years of collective experience representing employees at employment tribunals, with expertise in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. 

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.

Our initial consultation, typically lasting 60 minutes, is designed to be a personalised discussion about your potential claim. We will carefully assess your eligibility based on evidence, legal time constraints, and your length of service. We'll explain your legal rights and chances of success and address other relevant matters you should consider before initiating a claim.  

During your initial consultation, which typically lasts 60 minutes, we'll discuss your potential claim with you and assess your eligibility based on evidence, legal time constraints, and length of service. We'll explain your legal rights and chances of success and address other relevant matters you should consider before initiating a claim.

Depending on the complexity of the issues discussed, we may offer concise guidance on straightforward matters. Fees are calculated as a proportion of the hourly rate, with a minimum charge of 30 minutes.

We recognise the importance of transparency regarding potential costs before seeking advice. If our support team determines that you might benefit from seeking assistance from Citizens Advice or ACAS, they will advise you accordingly.  

Costs explained

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.

The rates may also vary if you have legal expenses insurance covering your claim fees. Your policy terms will specify the extent of coverage (typically up to £100,000) and the types of claims covered.

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.

If you're a member of a trade union or professional body, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance towards your legal costs.

At the start of your claim, 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. Throughout the process, we'll maintain regular communication to keep you informed of any developments, including changes necessitating further action or potential cost adjustments.

Due to the unique nature of each claim, it's difficult to provide an exact timeframe and cost estimate without understanding the specifics. The overall expenses will be determined by the complexity of your case and the time required for representation.

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.

We typically engage a barrister to represent you if the matter progresses to a final hearing. For further information, please refer to the Advocacy Costs section below.

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

A 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 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, this is typical in medium and high complexity cases. 
  • Where there are applications to the tribunal for specific orders to be made, such as interim relief orders in certain circumstances.
  • If further hearings are required due to a disability claim, the employment tribunal will issue more directions, as well as medical evidence and expert witnesses.
  • If judicial mediation is required.
  • If there is an excessive number of witnesses, documents to examine or emails.
  • If we need to apply for a reconsideration of the judgement or wish to appeal.
What is the process of making a tribunal claim against my employer?

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

  • Write to your former employer and seek to negotiate a settlement. 
  • Liaise with ACAS regarding Early Conciliation to negotiate a prompt settlement.
  • Draft the necessary documentation to file the claim at the Tribunal within the limitation period.
  • Represent you at a preliminary hearing, if arranged by the Tribunal.
  • Review the opposition argument and provide guidance.
  • Comply with Directions issued by the Judge with a timetable for the claim.
  • Prepare a schedule or counter schedule of loss.
  • Disclosure of all documents 
  • Prepare a trial bundle.
  • Prepare witness statements.
  • Instruct a barrister to represent you at the final trial if required.
  • Provide all necessary support and guidance before, during, and after the trial.

Unless otherwise requested, our fees will not include:

  • Deal with any taxation implications.
  • Advise you about state benefits.
  • Any work necessary to enforce any awards.


Advocacy costs?

In addition to our costs, if your 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 your 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.

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 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.

For further information on how we can assist you with your claim, please visit our Employment Law pages. Alternatively, you can reach out to us at 023 8063 9311 or via email at employment@warnergoodman.co.uk

To speak to one of our experts please call us