Employment Tribunal Claims – Employee bringing a Claim for Wrongful Dismissal in England or Wales

How much does this service cost?

In our experience, no one Employment Tribunal claim is the same as another and so our fees for bringing claims of wrongful dismissal will reflect the particular requirements and complexity of your matter.  The figures quoted below may vary in cases with added complexities, and therefore we cannot give you a fully reliable estimate of the cost of us helping you until we have details of the matter.  If you wish to engage our services, we will provide you with an estimate of fees tailored to your particular circumstances and issue you with full terms and conditions of business so that you can make a fully informed choice as to whether to proceed.  Of course, if your matter develops any unexpected or unforeseen complication, we will always advise you of this immediately, and would fully disclose the potential consequences of that before any additional charges are incurred.

Where appropriate we may offer to work on your matter, or parts of it, on a fixed fee or capped fee basis.  Please note that we do not undertake this type of work on conditional fee or damages based agreements (broadly speaking no win no fee arrangements).  You may have the benefit of legal expenses insurances which may cover some or all of your fees in pursuing a claim in the Employment Tribunal.

Typically, if you have a claim of wrongful dismissal (that is, a dismissal in breach of your contract – so for example where you have not been given or paid your notice entitlement), then this is often brought at the same time as a claim of unfair dismissal.  If that is the case, then all of the service information set out for bringing a claim for unfair dismissal would still apply for such a joint claim.  Please refer to Employment Tribunal Claims – Employee bringing a Claim for Unfair Dismissal in England or Wales for further information.

If you were to bring a claim for wrongful dismissal in isolation, then you may do so in the Employment Tribunal but only up to a value of £25,0000.  These cases are rare in our experience and most cases are worth much less than this and typically are confined to the value of what you would have received during your notice period had it been worked or paid.

The typical cost of defending a wrongful dismissal claim may therefore be greater than the loss the you are seeking to recover.

Please note that legal fees are not normally recoverable as a rule in the Employment Tribunal, win or lose.

All estimates and information provided below assume that the matter proceeds to a full hearing.  Typically, if resolution is achieved sooner, the overall cost will be less.

Fees

Our charges will be calculated primarily by reference to the time spent on the matter, although other factors may be taken into account.  These include the complexity of the matter, the importance and urgency of the matter to you; and the skill, effort, specialist knowledge and responsibility involved in dealing with it on your behalf.  The time spent will be charged in units of one-tenth of an hour.

We estimate our approximate fees, excluding VAT and disbursements, to be as follows:
- Simple Case: £2,000 - £5,000
- Complex Case: £5,000 - £10,000
VAT will be charged at the appropriate rate on top of all fees and disbursements, including any barristers’ fees.

Factors that could make a case more complex such that it would fall at the higher end of the lower range or within the more complicated case range include the following.  These are indicative examples and there could be other complicating factors: -

  • Complicated set of facts or circumstances arising over a long period of time;
  • The number of witnesses on either side;
  • If witnesses are hard to trace, are uncooperative or unavailable;
  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide information about an existing claim;
  • If there are preliminary hearings listed by the Tribunal to deal with procedural matters and/or to hear applications;
  • If there are other Claimants pursuing claims arising out of the same circumstances;
  • If time is spent pursuing potential settlement which proves unsuccessful;
  • If the Respondent (i.e. your former employer) delays or does not comply with Tribunal orders; 
  • If the Respondent does not seek legal assistance;
  • The Respondent’s choice of representative;
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claim or parts of it are out of time;
  • The number of documents;
  • If there are other claims you are bringing such as for unpaid wages or holiday pay;
  • If the dismissal is connected with a TUPE transfer and so for example there is potentially more than one Respondent (Employer) to pursue;
  • If the Respondent has solvency issues - for example it has gone into administration or liquidation;
  • If your losses are large and/or involve loss of pension rights under a final salary pension scheme and /or bonuses, a car or share awards;
  • If the case is split so that liability issues are dealt with first followed by the amount of compensation, necessitating at least two hearings;
  • If Expert evidence may be necessary;
  • If a Tribunal hearing is postponed or part-heard and a further hearing becomes necessary;
  • If there are Tribunal administrative delays or errors;
  • If translation services or an interpreter is necessary;
  • Making or defending a costs application;
  • If you delay in providing instructions or provide incomplete instructions

Representation at preliminary hearings at the Tribunal is usually conducted by us and is included in the price guides above.  You will typically be represented by a barrister at a Final Hearing.  Typical charges for a barrister are set out under the disbursements heading below.  There will generally be an additional charge for us to attend a Tribunal hearing to sit behind the barrister (Counsel) representing you at a hearing, to take notes in more complicated cases for example.  Otherwise our attendance is not usually necessary, but helpful particularly on the first morning at least of a hearing to assist you and Counsel and deal with any last-minute procedural matters etc.  Charges for such attendance will typically range from £1,000 to £2,000 per day (excluding VAT).  Wrongful dismissal hearings will typically be much shorter than those for unfair dismissal and could be as little as 1 hour or half a day for a simple case.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as experts’ fees.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Potential Disbursements:

  • There are not usually any significant disbursements for Employment Tribunal claims other than barrister fees if you are represented at a hearing by a barrister (Counsel), and sometimes experts’ fees, as well as travel expenses to hearings.
  • Counsel charge a “brief fee” which includes preparation for and attendance at the first day of a hearing.  Brief fees for a short hearing for a simple case would typically range from £500 - £1,000 (excluding VAT).
  • Counsel’s brief fees for day or longer hearings fees typically range from between £1,500 - £2,500 (excluding VAT) for a simple claim to £10,000 to £15,000.00 (excluding VAT) for a complex case.  A “refresher fee” would be charged for each additional day of representation after the first day.  Typical refresher fees will range between £1,000 to £2,500 per day (excluding VAT) (depending on experience of the advocate and complexity), for attending a Tribunal Hearing.

How long will my application 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 during pre-claim conciliation, the case is likely to take 4-8 weeks.
- If the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, as a guide it is likely to take from 3 – 6 months for a simple claim and from 6 to 12 months for a more complicated claim.

The location of the Tribunal where the claim is issued and is to be heard will impact upon these typical times as there is great regional variance.  These timeframes, as with the pricing, are 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.