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Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal Claims

Head of department is Howard Epstein. Further details of our team are available here. All non-partner members of the team are supervised by a partner.

Our team has many years of experience in assisting clients in both bringing and defending unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims.

Our hourly rates range between £350 and £585 per hour (plus VAT at 20%).

Fee estimates for bringing or defending wrongful dismissal claims

As no case is the same a range of range of estimates for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are as follows:

  • A simple case to bring or defend is likely to cost in the region of £5,000 - £8,000 plus VAT at 20%, but exclusive of disbursements.

  • A medium complexity case to bring or defend is likely to cost in the region of £8,000 – £15,000 plus VAT at 20%, but exclusive of disbursements.

  • A highly complex case to bring or defend is likely to cost in the region of £15,000 - £30,000 plus VAT at 20%, but exclusive of disbursements.

These are only estimates and we can provide a further detailed view as to potential costs once we have considered the case and details.

The figures are exclusive of any disbursements, which will include photocopying and counsel’s fees.

Factors that could make the case more complex are:

  • significant and lengthy disciplinary hearings;

  • embroiled grievances;

  • claims that involve allegations of discrimination; and

  • claims that involve allegations of whistle-blowing.

Costs may increase:

if we are required to make or defend applications or amend claims and/or provide information about existing claims;

  • if we are instructed to make and defend a costs application, attend a preliminary hearing - for example, to determine whether the claim is in time or whether the individual is an employee;

  • the number of witnesses that are required to attend to give evidence;

  • the number of documents in the proceedings;

  • if it is an automatically unfair dismissal claim, i.e. if an employee is dismissed after whistle-blowing or allegations of discrimination or is subjected to victimisation because they have raised claims and allegations of discrimination.


Disbursements are expenses related to your claim that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on clients’ behalf to ensure smoother processes. Counsel’s fees are generally estimated to be between £1,500 - £4,000 plus VAT at 20% per day, depending on the experience of the advocate and the length of the hearing.

Key stages

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

  • taking initial instructions;

  • reviewing the papers and advising on merits and likely compensation. This is of course revisited throughout the matter and subject to change;

  • entering into ACAS pre-conciliation process. This is mandatory, to explore whether settlement can be reached;

  • preparing a claim or response;

  • reviewing and revising on claim or response from the other party;

  • exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;

  • preparing or considering a Schedule of Losses;

  • preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing;

  • exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle ofdocuments;

  • drafting statements and agreeing their content with the witnesses;

  • preparing bundles of documents;

  • reviewing and advising on other party’s witness statements;

  • agreeing a list of issues, chronology and/or cast list;

  • preparation for final hearing, including instructions to and conferences with counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication only. If some of the stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. Clients may wish to handle some or all respects of claims themselves and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on an individual needs basis.

How long will my matter take?

Whilst this is difficult to estimate, usually when the claim received, the tribunal will issue case management directions or provide a Preliminary Hearing date. However, this could be subject to change depending on the complexity of the case and the co-operation of other parties. Also, it depends on the number of cases being dealt with at the tribunal that your case is being lodged.

If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take between 6 months – 1 year to reach its final hearing. This is 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.

For more information

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