team member reading documents


No two employment law cases are ever the same and so the advice that follows can only ever be a guide to the sort of cost that might be involved in taking a case to a tribunal hearing. Our fee earners work on hourly rates. We do not normally work on a no-win, no-fee basis or on a contingent fee basis unless there are very special circumstances.

Our hourly rates are as follows:

Hamish Cameron Blackie (32+ years’ experience as an employment litigation lawyer) – £350 plus VAT or £420

Andrea Tishler (20+ years’ experience as an employment litigation lawyer) – £330 plus VAT or £398

Ashley Holden (31+ years’ experience as an employment litigation lawyer) – £300 plus VAT or £360

We are all experienced advocates.

In short cases, where it is cost effective to do so, we may not instruct barristers to appear for a final hearing.

We only routinely instruct barristers to advise at the outset in cases where it is anticipated that a barrister will be required because of the complexity of the case or the novelty of a point raised on the facts.  Experience shows that in large cases it is cost effective to have one barrister closely involved from the outset.

Additional support may be given by trainee solicitors at an hourly rate of £180 plus VAT (£216).  The identity of the trainee will change from time to time.

In cases where you want to instruct a specialist barrister for advice and representation at trial then there will be an additional cost for that barrister.  There is a huge range of costs for barristers from the very newly qualified who will charge out at less than £100 per hour plus VAT to very experienced barristers (called QC’s) who will charge at hourly rates in excess of £650 per hour plus VAT.  We will advise you at the time if it is cost effective, or sensible to instruct a barrister and match your case to the most appropriate barrister.

For a hearing before the employment tribunal involving a simple case of unfair dismissal lasting no more than one day, with just one witness for the employer and one witness for the employee and a simple bundle of relevant documents of no more than 50 pages then we would anticipate a range of cost of between £3,000 and £5,000 plus VAT or £3,600 to £6,000 inclusive of the cost of a junior barrister of £1,000 plus VAT, or £1,200

Factors which will cause this figure to increase will include whether:

  • your case involves a novel or complicated point of law;
  • a larger number of documents need to be considered;
  • it is alleged that the other side is being untruthful in its account of events giving rise to the dismissal;
  • the other side is unrepresented.

Larger and more complicated cases will cost very considerably more.  A 10-day case involving a solicitor and a barrister and large volumes of papers will cost in excess of £150,000 plus VAT or £180,000 inclusive of the fees of the barrister.  It is not possible to estimate what a barrister’s costs would be in a large case because of the number of variables that would be involved, however the indicative price we have suggested above includes the costs of the barrister.

Where a barrister is undertaking some aspects of the case it means that the solicitor is not undertaking that part of the process, though the solicitor will have other additional work involved in checking the barrister’s output and liaising between the barrister and the client.

Key Stages

The fees set out above cover the key stages of an employment tribunal claim:

  • Taking your instructions, reviewing your papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation.
  • Advising you in relation to the early conciliation process.
  • Preparing your claim or response to the tribunal.
  • Advising you in relation to the claim or response from the other party.
  • Discussing settlement with you throughout the process.
  • Drafting your schedule of loss and advising you on the schedule of your opponent.
  • Preparing for and attending at any Preliminary Hearings.
  • Preparing your list of documents.
  • Preparing or reviewing the trial bundle prepared by the other party.
  • Settling witness statements.
  • Reviewing the other party’s witness statements.
  • Where required, preparing a list of issues, a chronology and cast list.
  • Preparation for and attendance on the Trial.
  • Review of the outcome.

In simple cases, all of the above will be handled within GBH Law Limited.   In complex or novel cases some or several aspects of the above will be dealt with by Counsel in conjunction with GBH Law Limited.


Giving any estimate on time scales of work in the Employment Tribunal at present is very difficult.  We have recent experience of one case in the Employment Tribunal where a claim presented to the Tribunal in January 2018 had not even been processed and served by the Tribunal on the Respondent by November 2018, another case where proceedings presented to the Tribunal in November 2017, were listed for trial in December 2019, the decision on liability was given in February 2020, but the trial on quantum (the amount of damages to be awarded) will not be heard until December 2021.   This was not the fault of the parties, just the overloaded system of the tribunals.  In another case we handled, papers were presented to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in March 2018 were still awaiting to be “sifted”, i.e. the first stage of an appeal, in November 2018.


This page was last updated on 17th August 2021