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Employment Tribunal Pricing

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal depends upon the complexity of the case, the volume of documents, and number of witnesses likely to be involved.  A detailed estimate, usually based upon hourly rates, will be provided at the point of instruction, but to assist you we have outlined below a range of the likely costs:

Straightforward Case          £5,000 - £7,500 (excluding VAT)
Medium Complexity Case   £12,500 - £15,000 (excluding VAT)
High Complexity Case        £15,000 - £20,000 (excluding VAT)

There are a range of factors which may make a case more complex, and therefore more expensive.  This includes where the following steps are required:

  • making or defending an application to amend a claim or response, providing further information about an existing claim or response, making or defending an application to strike out a claim or response;
  • analysing a significant volume of documents (often relating to events over a long period of time);
  • meeting and drafting witness statements for a number of witnesses or reviewing a significant number of witness statements provided by the other side;
  • making or defending complex or numerous allegations, for example of discrimination or in a whistleblowing claim where there are numerous disclosures and detriments;
  • resolution of preliminary issues such as whether a claimant is disabled or whether a claim is in time;
  • defending claims pursued by litigants in person;
  • making or defending a costs application. 

The longer the main hearing, or the more hearings that are required (for example, if a claim goes part-heard), the more expensive the matter will be.  The estimates above are based on a straightforward case involving a hearing of 1 day or less, a medium complexity case lasting 3 days and a high complexity case lasting 5 days.     


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties.  We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process, although we usually require payment of disbursements in advance.

In the event counsel is instructed for a tribunal hearing, fees are typically between £700 to £5,000 for the first day of the hearing and £600 to £3,000 for each subsequent day.  Counsel’s fees vary and will depend upon the complexity of the case, volume of documents, length of the hearing, years’ experience and where they are based (for example, London counsel is more expensive than regional counsel).  
Key Stages

The estimates set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • taking initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising on merits and likely compensation;
  • entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory;
  • preparing a claim or response;
  • reviewing and advising on a claim or response from the other party;
  • keeping settlement under review;
  • preparing or considering a schedule of loss;
  • preparing for and attending a Case Management Preliminary Hearing in the case of medium and high complexity cases;
  • dealing with the disclosure of documents and agreeing a bundle with the other party;
  • 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;
  • preparing for, and attending, a Final Hearing, including briefing Counsel where appropriate. 

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee may be reduced. 

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends on the stage at which your case is resolved and the Employment Tribunal dealing with the claim.

If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 1 to 4 weeks. 

If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 to 9 months.

These are guidelines only and we will give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Our Team

Our team has over 60 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in employment matters and has particular expertise in employment tribunal claims.

We have four members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Jackie Turner, Partner and Employment Lawyer.  As far as possible, we will ensure your work is resourced at the appropriate level.

Christopher Graham – Partner

Chris is our Head of Department and has specialised in employment law for over 25 years.  In this time, he has dealt with every type of claim before the Employment Tribunal and has significant experience of labour relations, industrial action, TUPE 2006 and change management programmes.  Chris attended the University of Liverpool and Northumbria University before joining Watson Burton as a partner in 2002.

Jackie Turner – Partner

Jackie is a very experienced employment lawyer, specialising in employment tribunal claims.  She has represented employers and individuals for over 15 years.  She routinely acts on behalf of respondents in claims in the employment tribunal for damages, unfair dismissal and discrimination.

Jackie attended the University of Northumbria. She completed her training contract at Watson Burton LLP in 2003 and was promoted to Partner in 2013. 

Kerry Waters – Associate

Kerry qualified as a solicitor in 2002. She attended the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and completed her LPC at the College of Law, York.

She joined our employment team in 2011 and was promoted to Associate in 2015.  Kerry has worked as an employment lawyer since qualification and has worked for Clarion and Raworths.  Kerry has a significant knowledge and experience in defending employment tribunal claims. 

Shona Morton – Solicitor

Shona qualified as a solicitor in 2011. She attended the University of Nottingham where she completed her degree in Philosophy and Theology, before converting to law.

She joined our employment team in 2016, having worked at Burnetts Solicitors as an employment lawyer.  She has particular experience dealing with employment tribunal claims.

Kayleigh Mountford – Solicitor

Kayleigh attended the University of Teesside before completing her LPC at Northumbria University. She joined our employment team in 2018, shortly after qualifying as a Solicitor, having completed her Training Contract at BHP Law. 

Managing Costs

Clients may have other funding options available, such as cover under an insurance policy and are advised to check this prior to instructing us.

Matters are usually billed on an ongoing basis at the end of each month. 



Christopher Graham | Partner

0345 901 2033