Pricing structure for bringing and defending claims for wrongful or unfair dismissal (including constructive dismissal)

There are many types and combinations of employment law claims, but certainly dismissal claims are amongst the most common. Our fee structure for dismissal claims should serves as a basic guide to our employment litigation fees generally and of the stages of employment tribunal litigation.

Please note that our fee structure is based on an hourly rate of £217 per hour (excluding VAT), but we can offer a fixed fee based on an estimate of the work involved.

Fee structure

The following table below sets out the average range of costs in dismissal claims based upon their complexity.

Simple case £4000 – 8500 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity £8,501 - £17250 (excluding VAT)
High complexity £17251 - £26040 (excluding VAT)


The fees set out above cover the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim as set out below. It is important to note that the stages are merely an indication and if some of stages are not required, the fees will be reduced accordingly.

Stages in legal proceedings & hours of work required

  • 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) - 3 - 6 hours
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached - 2 - 5 hours
  • Preparing claim or response - 2 - 10 hours
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party - 2 - 4 hours
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process - 2 - 7 hours
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss - 1 - 3 hours
  • Preparing documents and exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents - 3 - 7 hours
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their contents with witnesses (up to 2) 4 – 17 hours
  • Preparing the bundle - 2- 6 hours
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements - 3 - 5 hours
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list - 1 - 5 hours
  • Preparation for final hearing including instructing Counsel - 4 – 15 hours
  • Attendance at the final hearing (1 – 3 days) - 10 - 30 hours

It is also quite feasible that an initially simple case can progress to become more complex. If that happens, we will give you sufficient warning and we can discuss further options at that stage.

A case can become more complex for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Dismissal claims linked to other claims e.g. unlawful discrimination, whistleblowing
  • Complex issues of loss such as loss of long-term incentives, pension or career
  • Where unusual orders are required such as anonymity orders
  • Cases where a separate remedy hearing in required i.e. to work out the level of financial award to be made
  • Making or defending a cost application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether a claim has been brought in time, whether the individual is an employee, whether the case is sufficiently strong or should be stuck out
  • Preliminary hearings to determine the preliminary issues
  • Making or defending applications to amend claims or provide further information about existing claims
  • Defending claims brought by litigants in person, without professional representation
  • Long history associated with the claim
  • Significant amounts of evidence needed to consider and documentation to prepare for hearings
  • Numerous witnesses called by either side
  • Extensive negotiations

What is not included within our fees:

  • Disbursements, i.e. expenses, where applicable such as travel, payment for copy documents etc.
  • Barrister fees for conference meetings, written opinion, attending hearing. Barristers fees can average between £500 – 2000 per day (excluding VAT).
  • Expert fees such as for a medical report.
  • Employment Tribunal Costs Orders made against a client.
  • Appeal costs.
  • Drafting and advising on settlement agreements.
  • The Enforcement of any order.

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. Before a claim is started, pre-claim conciliation must be attempted to try and settle the matter without resorting to litigation. It must be started within three months of the complaint arising and is normally concluded within four weeks. If settlement isn’t reached then dependent upon when pre-conciliation is concluded, the claimant can have up to a month thereafter to submit a claim to the Tribunal. The average time to the final hearing is 30 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.

Alternatives

Litigant in Person

It may the case that you wish to handle your employment matter yourself and only have legal advice in relation to some of the stages. If you wish to do this, we are more than willing to help and can come to an arrangement specific to your needs.

Legal Expense Insurance

If you have any insurance cover e.g. business, home, car, we suggest contacting your insurer to see if legal expense cover is included within the policy. If it is, it may be possible to cover the cost of up to all your legal fees (and it is possible to choose your own solicitor in the process too).

No Win No Fee

For our employee clients we may be able to take your case on a no win no fee basis if your case satisfies our criteria. Under this arrangement we would recover a percentage of any monies your recover in respect of your dispute and which we take as our fee. The percentage is capped at 35% inclusive of VAT and does not include cover for any other costs such as disbursements, barristers’ fees etc (although it may be possible to enter into a No Win No Fee arrangement with the barrister representing you at the final hearing).

Mediation

Because of the substantial time, expense and anxiety that can often comes with litigation, we do encourage mediation wherever possible as an alternative means of trying to resolve matters. This can be done privately, through ACAS and if a litigation has commenced, judicial mediation may also be possible.

Three Graces Legal’s employment solicitor

Melissa Kponou is our employment solicitor and has 14 years’ experience as a specialist within this area. Melissa was called to the Bar in 2001 and cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2009. She is also a trained mediator, data protection practitioner and is also qualified in financial regulation.