Burnetts’ employment lawyers have extensive experience of advising clients on employment tribunal claims, including claims of unfair or wrongful dismissal.
The team’s experience is predominantly in advising employers on the defence of employment tribunal claims, but they also advise individuals bringing claims against their employers or former employers.
This specialist legal support is provided by:
• Partners (Natalie Ruane and Nigel Crebbin)
• Practising consultant (Kuba Strycharczyk)
• Solicitors (Anna Lovett and Sophie Allinson) and the team’s trainee solicitors, all under the supervision of Natalie, Nigel or Kuba.
An employment tribunal case of unfair or wrongful dismissal will generally commence within three months of the date of dismissal and will usually be concluded (if it progresses to a full hearing, but does not involve an appeal against the employment tribunal’s judgment) within six to nine months.
A full employment tribunal hearing for a case of unfair or wrongful dismissal will usually last for between one and three days (although cases also involving other matters, such as discrimination or protected disclosure (‘whistleblowing’) claims, are likely to last longer).
Costs of bringing/defending employment tribunal claims of unfair or wrongful dismissal
The table below shows a costs breakdown, based on the average fees involved in bringing or defending an employment tribunal claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal where the claim progresses to a full hearing.
|Example Costing||Fees + VAT|
Burnetts’ fees (average cost range)
|£8,000 - £13,000|
Barrister fees (single day hearing)
|£2,000 - £2,500|
Barrister fees (multiple day hearing)
|£2,500 (first day); £1,000 - £1,500 (each subsequent day)|
|Barrister fees (hearing to assess compensation, if case progresses to that stage)||£1,000 - £1,500|
Travel / accommodation
As required, dependent on the location, time and duration of the employment tribunal hearing (for example, if the hearing is outside of Cumbria)
|Total (based on single day hearing plus compensation hearing)||£11,000 - £17,000|
Further detail on the costs involved, what is included and the factors which might affect costs are explained below.
Our fees in respect of claims of unfair or wrongful dismissal
The average Burnetts’ fees for bringing or defending a claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal in an employment tribunal, range, depending on the complexity of the case, between £8,000 to £13,000 plus VAT, if the case proceeds to a full employment tribunal hearing. However, if the case is settled before reaching a full hearing, then the cost will be less.
For complicated cases (for example, also involving other employment law claims), the cost is usually more.
In addition to Burnetts’ fees, there will be the barrister’s fees for carrying out the advocacy at the employment tribunal hearing and at any subsequent hearing to assess any award of compensation.
What is included in these fees
The above cost includes:
• Taking instructions from you at the start and during the course of the case
• Liaising with ACAS with regard to early conciliation
• Drafting the claim/response form and the detailed grounds of the claim or detailed grounds of the response
• Attending employment tribunal case management discussions (either in person or conducted by telephone)
• Co-ordinating disclosure of documents and reviewing documents provided by the other party
• Meeting with witnesses and drafting witness statements
• Exchanging witness statements with the other party and reviewing witness statements provided by the other party
• Carrying out any settlement negotiations and drafting any settlement documentation
• Instructing and liaising with the barrister who is conducting the main employment tribunal hearing
• Attending the main employment tribunal hearing (if you instruct us to do so)
• Instructing and liaising with the barrister with regard to any hearing to assess compensation (and attending that hearing, if you instruct us to do so).
Important points to note:
• The costs referred to above do not include the costs which would be involved in bringing or responding to any appeal against the employment tribunal’s judgment and also do not include the costs which would be involved in taking action to enforce a judgment (for example, if the other party were required by the tribunal to pay compensation, but failed to do so).
• We do not carry out work on a contingency fee or damages-based fee arrangement (often called ‘no win, no fee’).
• The employment tribunal only very rarely requires the losing party to pay the other party’s legal costs. This means that you will be required to pay the costs you incur with us, whether you win or lose your case.
• Sometimes clients have insurance cover, which can mean their insurer will pay some or all of the costs they incur with us in bringing or defending a claim.
Additional costs in respect of claims of unfair or wrongful dismissal
We generally instruct specialist employment law barristers to conduct the advocacy at the full employment tribunal hearing (if the case progresses to that stage). The average cost for the barrister is £2,000 to £2,500 plus VAT for a single day hearing (and for hearings lasting more than one day, in the region of £2,500 plus VAT for the first day and between £1,000 to £1,500 plus VAT for each subsequent day).
Most full employment tribunal hearings for cases of unfair or wrongful dismissal will last for between one and three days. However, cases also involving other matters, such as discrimination and/or protected disclosure (‘whistleblowing’) claims, are likely to last longer.
If the claimant wins their case, a further (usually one day) employment tribunal hearing may be required to assess the amount of compensation and, if so, a further barrister’s fee (of on average £1,000 to £1,500 plus VAT) would be payable.
It is possible that attendance at an employment tribunal hearing may involve travel and/or accommodation expenses being incurred by any member of our team who attends, dependent on the location, time and duration of the hearing (for example, if the hearing is outside of Cumbria). If so, then those expenses may be charged to our client in addition to our fees.