Fees for tribunal claims

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Chambers UK
Employment Law for Businesses

Led by partner Paul Mander, our employment team has many years’ experience advising employers and employees on complex and multi-issue unfair dismissal claims. 

A large number of the cases we handle are resolved to our clients’ satisfaction without the need for a full hearing. However, when a hearing is necessary we always seek to keep our costs proportionate to the potential financial compensation available for both wrongful and unfair dismissal claims.

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal:

Simple case

£10,000-£20,000 plus VAT

Medium complexity case

£17,000-£40,000 plus VAT

High complexity case

£30,000 and above plus VAT

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • if it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim;
  • defending claims that are brought by litigants in person;
  • making or defending a costs application;
  • complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
  • the number of witnesses and documents;
  • if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim eg if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer; and
  • allegations of discrimination or whistleblowing.

Generally, we would allow 2-10 days for a tribunal hearing depending on the complexity of your case (1-2 days for a simple case; 2-4 days for a medium case and 5 days or more for a complex case). 


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We normally handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process although we will normally require payment from you in advance of paying them.

Barristers' fees are estimated between £750-£5,000 per day (depending on the experience of the advocate) for attending a tribunal hearing (including preparation), although these could be significantly higher if, for example, you need a very senior barrister (known as a QC).

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of the 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 can be 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;
  • exploring settlement and negotiating settlement  throughout the process;
  • preparing or considering a schedule of loss;
  • preparing for (and attending) a preliminary hearing;
  • exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
  • taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
  • preparing bundle of documents;
  • reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list; and
  • preparation and attendance at final hearing, including instructions to counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged.

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 stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, the matter is likely to take 4-6 weeks. If the claim proceeds to a final hearing, the case is likely to take 6-12 months. 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. As a general rule, the longer the case is estimated to last, the longer it will take to get a hearing date: it is also the case that the Tribunal are experiencing some serious delays at the moment which could mean it will take in excess of 12 months to get a claim resolved. 

Hourly rates

Our costs are generally incurred by reference to the time spent by the solicitor(s) dealing with the claim. All of our specialist employment lawyers’ details are on the website and can be accessed here. The hourly rates vary by location and experience and fall into the following categories as at August 2021:


£430 - 550 plus VAT per hour

Senior associates

£275 - £390 plus VAT per hour


£225 - £310 plus VAT per hour

Trainee solicitors

£175 plus VAT per hour

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP