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Employment Law

Our employment team can help with a whole range of legal and HR issues, ranging from advice on recruitment, drafting employment contracts and supporting you through employment tribunals to trade union disputes, restructuring and redundancy.

Employment Tribunals

Employment tribunal claims

The BPE Employment Law Team is very experienced in running employment tribunal claims for employees. The profiles of the lawyers in our Employment Team (together with details of when they qualified and their areas of expertise) can be found HERE. Many employment tribunal claims settle before a final hearing, so you would not incur all of the costs associated with the stages below. However, some claims do make it to a final hearing, so it is important that our clients understand what our charges are likely to be should any employment tribunal claim go to a final hearing.

What are our likely fees for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal claims?

We have set out below a fee estimate of our likely charges for running an unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal employment tribunal claims for you individually.

The explanation and estimates are broken down into the four areas of a typical employment tribunal claim:


Acting for employees


£1500-£3000 plus VAT


£2000-£3000 plus VAT


£2000-£3000 plus VAT


£2000-£4000 plus VAT

What do the 4 stages of an employment tribunal involve?


This includes taking instructions from you on the tribunal claim, considering any necessary documentation to draft your claim, drafting the employment tribunal claim for you, submitting that claim and reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the other side.


This will include preparing the necessary documents for a preliminary hearing in your case (there will almost certainly be 1 preliminary hearing with an employment tribunal judge before the final hearing) and instructing a barrister to represent you at that preliminary hearing.


This includes all matters relating to the necessary disclosure of any documents, letters, emails or other correspondence relevant to your employment tribunal claim. This is normally quite a time-consuming process as you will be under an obligation to disclose all documents to your opposition whether they are good for your case or not. This stage will also include preparing or considering a schedule of loss which as an employee bringing a claim you will need to prepare.


This includes the very important job of preparing witness statements for you and any witnesses which you may call at a final hearing. This is a time-consuming stage normally as it is very important that the statements are accurate, that they correspond correctly to the bundle of documents and that they expertly put forward your claim. In addition, this stage will include us liaising with a barrister who is appointed to act on your behalf at a final hearing and providing them with full written instructions to act on your behalf. We will also include reviewing the other sides witness statements and, if necessary, preparing supplementary witness statements. Finally, any list of issues, chronology or cast list which an employment tribunal ask for will be included within this stage (it is normal however for this to be the responsibility of the employer).

What about settlement?

Many claims settle before a final hearing. Settlement can happen at any time. Any of the above stages will also include, if appropriate, a reasonable amount of time to explore settlement and negotiating settlement of your claim.

Will the length of an employment tribunal hearing affect our fees?


It is important to note that it is up to an employment tribunal judge to decide how long a claim for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal will take to be heard in an employment tribunal. More complex claims of unfair dismissal/wrongful dismissal (such as those claims relating to automatic unfair dismissal for whistleblowing) are likely to take much longer for an employment tribunal to hear than a more straightforward unfair dismissal claim for redundancy, for example. You should also be aware that the above table with the estimate of our fees is based on an employment tribunal final hearing of between 1 and 3 days. If your tribunal matter is listed for 4 or more days, it is likely that we will have to separately advise you as to our fees as longer hearing normally mean more complex cases.

Are barrister’s fees included in the above fee table?


The above fee table does not include representation at any preliminary hearing or a final hearing. We will instruct an experienced barrister at the right level for the complexity of your claim to represent you at a preliminary hearing and if necessary a final hearing. Before we instruct a barrister we will agree their fee with you. Below is an estimate of potential Barrister Fees:


Barrister Experience: 1-5 years

Barrister Experience: 10 - 15 years


Barrister Experience: 15 years plus


Half day preliminary hearing




Full day preliminary hearing




1 day final hearing




2 day final hearing




3 day final hearing





What about other types of employment tribunal claim other than unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal?

As set out above, the table of our estimated fees only covers unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims. It does not cover any other type of employment tribunal claim such as equal pay, whistleblowing and any failures to collectively consult for redundancy or other purposes. We would be happy to bring these additional types of claim for you but would have to quote separately for them.

What other factors may affect our fees?

The above table of our fees is only an estimate. No two employment tribunal claims are the same. Factors in any employment tribunal claim you wish to bring against your employer which would not fall within the above fee estimate table include:

  • Non-unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal (see above for further information).
  • Employment tribunal claims which progress to the Employment Appeal Tribunal or higher court.
  • Where you as an employee are part of a multiple claimant claim against your employer.
  • Where you are a claimant in a claim with a trade union or a body of elected representatives.
  • The fee estimate table above assumes that there will only be 1 preliminary hearing. If there are any additional preliminary hearings we are likely to need to review our fee estimate.
  • If you want us to become involved in ACAS early conciliation (this is where both parties try and settle a dispute before it gets to an employment tribunal) we will gladly help you but will charge for this separately.
  • If your employer counter-claims against you in its defence (for example it says that you as its current or ex-employee still owe it money) this is likely to result in a revised fee estimate.

Will you have to pay any fees to third parties (disbursements)?

Normally in straightforward unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal employment tribunal claims there are no third party fees to be paid (such as court fees or experts’ fees). The only third party fees you are likely to have to pay your barrister’s fees, mentioned above.

If, however, your unfair dismissal claim relates to issues for example about your health or your final salary pension you may have to pay additional third party fees. These are likely to take the form of a contribution (probably half) of the fees payable to a medical expert to give expert opinion on your health or a pensions specialist. Like your barrister’s fees, we will help you appoint a suitable expert or specialist (if necessary) and agree their fees with you in advance.

How long will it take for you to bring an employment tribunal claim as an employee or for you as an employer to defend it?

Generally, your employment tribunal claim will be heard in the nearest employment tribunal claim to where you were employed. Some employment tribunal centres are busier than others. Because of this, there may be significant differences in the speed at which your employment tribunal claim progresses.

Generally, however, the following timescales will apply:

  • Once you have put in an employment tribunal claim your employer will have 28 days from when they are sent that tribunal claim to put in a defence.
  • A preliminary hearing will then be listed anywhere between 3 and 6 months after the claim is sent to your employer.
  • Anywhere between 4 and 6 months after the claim is sent to your employer the parties will have to:
  1. Send each other a list of documents they want to rely on at the final hearing;
  2. Send each other any documents the other side want to see from your list of documents;
  3. Finalise and prepare the final hearing bundle of documents (this is normally your employer’s responsibility); and
  4. Prepare and exchange witness statements with each other.
  • The final hearing date/s for your tribunal claim are likely to be anywhere between 6 and 12 months after an employer is sent your claim.


We have taken all reasonable steps to ensure the price information set out on our website provides an accurate and realistic indication of the costs of obtaining certain legal advice today, but we may update the information at any time in the future.

Whilst we hope this information is helpful as an initial guide, we will provide you with a specific fee proposal and a copy of our standard terms of business when you instruct us to undertake work.

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