Skip to main content

UK price transparency disclosure

UK pricing for defending claims for unfair/wrongful dismissal

The SRA requires us to publish costs information about certain of our services. The information below relates to our representation of employers in defending claims for unfair/wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal in England and Wales. Where we act for employers in defending these types of cases, they are generally complex cases involving a number of other issues such as discrimination, harassment and whistleblowing. It is on this assumption that the below information is based.

Biographies of our lawyers who undertake such work are available via Find a lawyer.

Range of costs

Our costs for defending claims for unfair/wrongful dismissal (which may include discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing and other regulatory claims) could have a broad range. For a simple matter, our costs could be as low as £150,000. For the most complex cases, our costs could be as much as £2 million or higher. The costs for many mandates are normally in the middle of this range. The basis of our charges will normally be hourly rates. These typically range (for time incurred by fee earners based in London) from £315 to £1495 per hour plus VAT. The hourly rates will vary depending on the seniority of the lawyers involved and other pricing factors and are updated annually on 1 January in response to a number of market condition levers. We are also open to, and have experience in, offering alternative fee arrangements which move away from the traditional hourly rate model, such as fixed fees or abort and success fees.

A full case-specific estimate can be obtained by contacting us with your requirements. Factors that could make a case more complex include:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to e.g. amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
  • If there are co-respondents or third parties with whom we will be corresponding and exchanging pleadings
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
  • The number of witnesses and documents including the requirement for expert evidence (e.g. medical evidence)
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim
  • If the claim is brought in the context of other claims, such as discrimination, harassment or whistleblowing
  • If the proceedings require advice in other jurisdictions
  • If the proceedings run concurrently with settlement and/or alternative dispute resolution processes
  • If there are additional regulatory considerations
  • The length of any hearing(s)


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We can handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf.

Counsel's fees can be between £5,000 to 20,000 (excluding VAT) per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending an Employment Tribunal hearing (including preparation), but these can vary significantly.


All legal fees and disbursements incurred by UK fee earners working on UK matters would be subject to applicable standard VAT at the prevailing rate (currently 20%).

Key stages

The estimated fees set out above will likely cover all of the below 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
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss if required
  • Preparing for (and attending) a preliminary hearing
  • Conducting a document disclosure exercise
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or a cast list
  • Preparation and attendance at a final hearing, including instructions to Counsel

The stages set out above are an indication only and if some of stages above are not required, the cost will be reduced. In particular, the estimated fees set out above will likely not cover settlement and/or alternative dispute resolution processes, although clearly if successful discussions did take place, there would be a saving against the estimate in respect of any work outstanding at the point of settlement.

You may also wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged depending 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 nature and complexity of the case and the stage at which it is resolved. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take anything up to one year or possibly longer. This is just an estimate and we will, of course, be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

The SRA Transparency Rules are available on the SRA’s website, available here.