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Our lawyers have extensive experience in advising both employees and employers and understand the issues and pressures from both sides. This enables them to offer really valuable advice on how best to approach the situation.

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal:

Type of case Fee estimate
Simple complexity case £10,000 – £15,000 plus 20% VAT
Medium complexity case £15,000 – £50,000 plus 20% VAT
High complexity case £50,000+ plus 20% VAT


Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide 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 whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g., if the claimant has been dismissed after blowing the whistle on their employer
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

An Employment Tribunal hearing can last between one and ten days depending on the complexity of the case.

You have the option to ask us to instruct counsel to conduct the advocacy in an Employment Tribunal case. However, all of the qualified solicitors in the Hugh James Employment Law Team are able to conduct advocacy themselves.

If we instruct counsel, counsel’s fees are estimated as being between £750 to £2,500 per day (depending on experience of the advocate). There may also be an additional charge to have a junior solicitor attend the Employment Tribunal Hearing to accompany counsel of up to £1,500 per day (excluding 20% VAT).


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. In employment tribunal claims there are no court fees and it is very unusual to have disbursements in straightforward cases. The exception is where an expert medical report may be required, which could cost in the region of £1,000 and up, plus 20% VAT. However, please note this is only an estimate.

Scope of work

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

  • 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)
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process including drafting a settlement agreement
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing including preparing a list of issues and dealing with preliminary case management and other issues
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Preparing 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 attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions and/or a skeleton argument to Counsel
  • Ensuring that you are made fully aware of the progress of the case and are regularly updated

The stages set out above are an indication only. If some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. This can arise if the case is able to be settled at an early stage. There is also the possibility of some or all elements of the claim being struck out at an early stage.

You may wish to handle some aspects of the claim yourself and only have our advice/support in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged depending on your individual needs.

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 during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take two to six weeks.

If the case does not settle during the pre-claim conciliation period, it may still be possible to reach a settlement at a later stage. It may also be possible to win the case at an early stage, if the Employment Tribunal decides the claim is out of time or the claimant has little prospects of success.

If, however, your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case may take between nine and twelve months or even longer. This is because of the timetable set by the Employment Tribunal Service.

Please note that these timescales are just estimates and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information about your specific case.

Details of lawyers who may work on the matter

Name of individual Title Qualifications Year qualified Complexity or type of issues they typically deal with Hourly rate
Louise Price Partner and Head of Employment Law team Qualified Solicitor

LLB in Law – 2:1

Legal Practice Certificate (Commendation)

2003 Simple to highly complex cases £315 plus 20% VAT
Rhiannon Dale Partner Qualified Solicitor

LLB (Hons) Law with German – 2:1

Post Graduate Diploma in Law (Commendation)

2013 Simple to highly complex cases £315 plus 20% VAT
Eleanor  Bamber Senior Associate Qualified Solicitor

BA Law (Jurisprudence) (2:1)

Legal Practice Certificate (Commendation)

2008 Simple to highly complex cases £290 plus  20% VAT
Christine Bradbury Senior Associate Qualified Solicitor

Diploma in Legal Practice (Commendation)

LLB / Bachelor of Laws

BA (Hons) in Modern Languages and European Studies

2001 Simple to highly complex cases £290 plus 20% VAT
Sali Owens Associate Qualified Solicitor

LLB Law (Second Class Honours)

Diploma in Law – Distinction

2017 Simple to medium complex cases £265 plus 20% VAT
Kate Walsh Associate Qualified Solicitor

LLB Law, (First Class Honours) Cardiff University

Diploma in Legal Practice (Distinction), Cardiff Law School

2013 Simple to medium complex cases £265 plus 20% VAT


Our hourly fee rates above vary depending upon the client and complexity of the matter.

We also have a trainee solicitor who works with the team. The trainee solicitor has completed the academic stages of training to be a lawyer and has a training contract with us for two years. During that time, they work in different departments to get work-based experience. They change departments every six months.

Next steps

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