Our pricing for defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

We are employment law specialists; we do not advise on any other type of work. Your matter will be dealt with by Rupert Scrase, Alexandra Robinson, or Sally Rogers, who are all experienced solicitors. The work of all solicitors is supervised by Rupert Scrase, Director.

Our pricing for defending claims for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal is based on an hourly rate for all solicitors, currently £260 plus VAT.  Rates are reviewed in February of each year.

Typically, defending a claim for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal will require us to spend the following amount of time.  Please note that these are examples only and we will provide a more accurate estimate at the outset of each matter.

Simple case: (wrongful dismissal only): 10 to 20 hours (i.e. £2,600 – £5,200 plus VAT)

Standard case: 40 to 75 hours (i.e. £10,400.00 – £19,500.00 plus VAT)

Complex case: 75 to 120 hours (i.e. £19,500.00 – £31,200.00 plus VAT)

These examples relate to an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim.  If other claims, for example discrimination claims, are brought alongside the unfair or wrongful dismissal claim this may increase the costs estimate. These are estimates to take a claim to a final hearing. If the Claimant’s case is dismissed at a preliminary hearing or the case is settled before a final hearing, the costs are likely to be less.

Even if you successfully defend an employment tribunal claim, normally you will not be able to recover your legal costs (different rules apply for wrongful dismissal in the County Court). However, costs can be awarded against a party in the Employment Tribunal if it or its representative has acted ‘vexatiously, abusively, disruptively or otherwise unreasonably in the bringing or conducting of proceedings, or part of them’ or if ‘any claim made in the proceedings by a party had no reasonable prospect of success’. You should also bear in mind the costs of defending a claim when set against the amount that is claimed against you. Sometimes it may be more cost effective to consider settling a claim when the cost is compared with your legal costs to successfully defend a claim at a final hearing.

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • If it is necessary to defend applications to amend claims or to request 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 employment status.
  • The number of witnesses and documents.
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if your employee alleges that they have been dismissed after blowing the whistle.
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
  • The number of days that the Tribunal Hearing lasts for.

Please note that VAT is charged on our fees at the current rate of 20%.

Some insurance policies may cover your legal costs in relation to defending unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claims.  You should consider checking whether you have such insurance. We may or may not be able to act for you under the terms of such a policy.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as a barrister’s fees.

We will normally represent you at an Employment Tribunal hearing and will only instruct a barrister in exceptional cases, in which case we would discuss this and the barrister’s fees with you beforehand. 

We may incur travel, hotel and subsistence expenses when representing you at an Employment Tribunal hearing.  The amount of such expenses will depend on the location of the Employment Tribunal and the length of the hearing but may be up to £500 plus VAT (based on a two to three day case).  Please note that VAT is charged on such disbursements at the current rate of 20%.

Key stages

The fees indicated above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Conducting ACAS pre-claim conciliation on your behalf.
  • 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 subject to change).
  • Preparing a response.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
  • 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 a bundle of documents.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation and representation at the Final Hearing.

The stages set out above are an indication only and in practice some stages may not be required and/or additional stages will be required.  This may have an impact on the amount of time spent and accordingly the overall fee.

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 shortly after the claim is issued, your case is likely to take 4-12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 26-52 weeks. 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.

The average final hearing of an unfair dismissal claim is likely to take 2 to 3 days.