Unlawful and Wrongful Dismissal Price Guide

Employment Claims – Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal – member of the public

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 employee in connection with a claim for unfair dismissal.

Scenario 1

We meet our client.  The employer has already made a proposal which is acceptable to the employee to settle the claim on condition the employee enters into a settlement agreement.

  • Our fee for the initial consultation was £200 inclusive of 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 £450 and £750 plus VAT for dealing with the settlement agreement.  This cost is normally met by the employer.
  • We would expect the work to be concluded within one month of instruction.

Scenario 2

As Scenario 1 but the employer does not immediately offer settlement terms.

  • A referral is made to ACAS Early Conciliation and an interim schedule of loss is then prepared.  Terms are agreed and the case is resolved with a COT 3 produced by ACAS.
  • Our fee for the initial consultation was £200 inclusive of VAT.
  • We charged £150 plus VAT to submit the case for Early Conciliation.
  • A further charge of £300 to £450 plus VAT arises for the preparation of an Interim Schedule of Loss.
  • We estimate an hour spent on negotiation with ACAS at a fee of £300 plus VAT.
  • 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 negotiation.  We have to issue a claim in the Employment Tribunal (ET) which proceeds to a final hearing.  (We still have to go through the ACAS Early Conciliation process.)

  • (Currently, the government no longer charges fees to bring a claim in the ET although this is likely to change.)
  • Our fee for the initial consultation was £200 inclusive of VAT.
  • We charged £150 plus VAT to submit the case for Early Conciliation.
  • A further charge of £300 to £450 plus VAT arises for the preparation of an Interim Schedule of Loss.
  • We estimate an hour spent on negotiation with ACAS at a fee of £300 plus VAT.
  • We prepare an ET1 form setting out details of the claim at a fee of £600 to £900 plus VAT.
  • We review the respondent’s ET3. – this normally takes about one hour of time and there is a fee of £300 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.
  • We review documents and prepare witness statements.
  • We view the Respondent’s witness statements.
  • These steps normally involve four to five hours of work in total with the fee in the range of £1,200 to £1,500 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 £900 to £1,200 plus VAT including updating the schedule of loss.
  • We attend the hearing with Counsel.  We do not normally charge more than £250 plus VAT for our time.  If the hearing is over in a day then Counsel’s fee is normally between £750 and £1,000 plus VAT.
  • The case is concluded and any compensation payable is recovered.  This 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 but 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 home insurance to see if you have cover to bring a claim to 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 successful, it is very unlikely that the tribunal will make an order requiring the respondent 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.


Steps to enforce any award or a claim to the state fund are not included.

Remember if the employer does not have sufficient resource it may be liquidated.  Certain claims can then be submitted to a statutory scheme.


The information set out above is a guide only.

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.