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:
Andrea Tishler (Qualified in 1998, with 25+ years’ experience as an employment lawyer) – £375 plus VAT or £450
Ashley Holden (Qualified in 1987, with 35+ years’ experience as an employment lawyer) – £340 plus VAT or £408
Helen Stone (Qualified in 1998, with 25+ years’ experience as an employment lawyer) – £350 plus VAT or £420
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, or it is cost-effective to do so. 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 £200 plus VAT (£240). 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 around £100 to £150 per hour plus VAT to very experienced barristers (called KC’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 £12,500 and £17,500 plus VAT (exclusive of the cost of a junior barrister which we would anticipate in the region of £2,000-£3,000 plus VAT).
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. Our firm’s fees for 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 £190,000 plus VAT 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, this is an indicative price to include 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.
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 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, prepare a list of issues, a chronology, and a cast list.
- Preparation for and attendance on the Trial.
- Review of the outcome.
In simple cases, all 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 barristers in conjunction with GBH Law Limited.
Giving any estimate on timescales of work in the Employment Tribunal at present is very difficult.
In the past, we experienced an Employment case where a claim had been lodged with the Tribunal in January 2018, but this was not even processed or sent to the Respondent until November 2018. Another case, which was lodged with the Tribunal in November 2017, was listed for trial only in December 2019. The decision on liability was finally given in February 2020, but the trial on quantum (the amount of damages to be awarded) was not heard until December 2021.
More recently, a discrimination claim was issued in March 2022, but it is not scheduled to be heard until April 2024.
It is currently common for a case to take at least 18-24 months to reach trial. Typically, this situation is not the fault of the parties but rather the overloaded system of the Tribunal.
This page was last updated on 5 July 2023.