Unlawful and Wrongful Dismissal- Price Guide for Businesses

Unlawful and Wrongful Dismissal Price Guide for Business

Employment Claims- Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal for Businesses.

All costs information given here is general and we will give more personalised information later when a full quote is requested.


We have received instructions from an employer in connection with a claim for unfair dismissal made by one of its former employees.

Scenario 1

We meet our client.  It appears that the claim is likely to succeed and the employer wishes to make a proposal to the employee to settle the claim on condition the employee enters into a settlement agreement.  The employer reports that the employee is likely to agree this and indeed this is the outcome.

  • Our fee for the initial consultation was £250 plus VAT.  This is because we provide an initial one hour of advice at this rate in cases where no other assistance is required or where a client requires first stage advice only.
  • We then charged between £600 and £900 plus VAT for preparing the settlement agreement.  This cost is normally met by the employer.
  • As part of this process the employer would normally pay the employee’s legal fees which will probably be in the range of £350 to £450 plus VAT.
  • We would expect the work to be concluded within one to two months of instruction.

Scenario 2

As Scenario 1 but you decide initially that you plan to oppose the claim..

A referral is made to ACAS Early Conciliation by the Employee.  The Employee’s heads of claim are considered including any interim schedule of loss.  We advise you.  Terms are agreed and the case is resolved with a COT 3 produced by ACAS.

  • Our fee for the initial consultation was £250 inclusive of VAT.
  • A further charge of £900 to £1,200 plus VAT to deal with ACAS and the negotiation based on three to four hours of time including an hour spent on negotiation with ACAS.
  • We then review and approve the COT 3 with a view to finalising the matter at a cost of £300 to £450 plus VAT.
  • We would expect the work to be completed within four months of instruction.

Scenario 3

There is no basis for settlement.  We have to respond to a claim in the Employment Tribunal (ET) which proceeds to a final hearing.

  • Our fee for the initial consultation was £250 plus VAT.
  • We charged £900 to £1,200 plus VAT arises for the ACAS stage.
  • We review the ET1 claim form and prepare an ET3 response opposing the claim at a fee of £900 to £1,200 plus VAT.
  • The ET issues directions which is basically a timetable of what needs to be done to prepare the case for a hearing.
  • We consider what documents are relevant.
  • Then we review documents and prepare witness statements.
  • We view the Applicant’s witness statements.
  • These steps normally involve five to six hours of work in total. The fee will be in the range of £1,500 to £1,800 plus VAT.
  • We instruct Counsel to attend the final hearing.
  • We prepare for the final hearing.  A trial bundle is prepared.
  • The preparation for the trial usually involves cost of £1,500 to £1,800 plus VAT including preparing a counter schedule of loss.
  • We attend the hearing with Counsel.  We do not normally charge more than £300 plus VAT for our time.  If the hearing is over in a day then Counsel’s fee is normally between £1,000 and £1,250 plus VAT.
  • The case is concluded and post hearing matters are attended to. This typically involves about an hour of work with a fee of £300 plus VAT.
  • This assumes the amount of documents involved in the case is not significant and the numbers of witness are limited to two or three on each side.
  • If there are extensive documents or a larger number of witnesses then the costs are likely to be considerably more to reflect the time involved.  We will endeavour to provide you with a clearer estimate when we have spoken with you.
  • Further if the hearing runs for more than one day then the fees for attendance will continue roughly at the same rate for each day.
  • In employment cases, the ET can deal with the issue of liability at one hearing and then schedule a further hearing to deal with remedies.  This of itself involves an extra day at Court.
  • We would expect the work to be included within 12 months of instruction.

People Dealing

  • Paul Cowdery is a Partner and his hourly rate is £300 plus VAT.  Paul is an experienced litigator and has undertaken employment work for many years. His practice in this respect has developed specifically since 2012.  He spends about 40% of his time on employment related matters.
  • Irfan Dad is his assistant and his rate is £118 plus VAT.  Irfan has been doing employment work since 2017 working with Paul.  About 40% of his time is spent on employment related matters.
  • Our fees are based on the hourly rates of the people dealing.  The ranges given above take this into account as well as the complexity of the matter.
Legal Expenses Cover
  • At the outset, always check your business insurances to see if you have cover to defend a claim against you in the ET.  This will not normally cover costs until after the claim has been through the ACAS Early Conciliation process.  The cover is not usually retrospective.  Some insurers will not fund fees at our normal hourly rate.

Recovery of Costs

  • Even if a claim is successfully defended, it is very unlikely that the tribunal will make an order requiring the claimant to pay your legal costs.
  • The employment tribunal will only order that one party pay the other party’s costs in limited circumstances, usually where it considers that a party or their representative has acted “vexatiously, abusively, disruptively, or otherwise unreasonably”, or that they have been “misconceived” in bringing or defending the proceedings.
  • It is still rare for the tribunal to make any costs order.


The information set out above is a guide only.

Therefore, please note that in all cases where we are asked to undertake work, we will give a more precise and personalised indication of costs in our retainer letter sent to you at the outset of the matter.