We provide a range of services for individuals and businesses required to attend an employment tribunal.

On this page, we have set out our typical range of prices for our services and details of what is included.

How much will an employment tribunal cost?

Every employment tribunal case is different and may be resolved without a contested hearing, for example by securing an early settlement of the claim. The cost rules in the employment tribunal mean that even if you win your claim, your opponent may not have to make any payment towards your costs. Because of this, you should check if you have legal expense insurance that might cover the cost of an employment tribunal claim.

For companies, legal expenses and employment tribunal awards may be covered by “Directors & Officers” insurance or other insurance policies. If you are unsure whether you have this cover, speak to your insurance broker and comply with any conditions of cover.

Individuals might have legal expense insurance, for example as part of a household insurance policy.

It is difficult to provide an accurate assessment of the costs you might incur in connection with a claim, without knowing more about the circumstances of your case.

As a guide, for both employers and employees, the typical range of costs for a routine claim that proceeds to a contested one-day final hearing is likely to start at £8,500 + VAT. The final costs are difficult to predict but could be as high as £15,000 +VAT or more. Where VAT is applicable, it will be at 20% (at the present time).

If you would like to discuss your case in more detail, so that we can prepare a bespoke costs estimate for you, please contact Andrew Macmillan or your usual Gateley Legal contact.

How we charge for this work

We usually work on an hourly rate basis, although we also offer fixed fees in appropriate cases. If you would like to discuss your case in more detail, please contact Andrew Macmillan or your usual Gateley Legal contact.

Other fee arrangements

We do not offer conditional fee agreements, damages based agreements or so-called “no win no fee” agreements for this work. Although some legal aid schemes may be available for employment tribunal claims we do not carry out any publicly funded work. If you are a member of a trade union or staff association you may be able to access legal advice and representation free of charge through that body.

Services that are included

Typical key stages of an employment tribunal

  • 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 a pre-claim conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing a claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim or response presented by the other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • 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
  • Agreeing on a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparing and attending a Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel (if a barrister is instructed)

Our fee estimates will include the above stages. If any of the stages are not required, the fee will be reduced accordingly.

Disbursements: costs related to your case that are payable to third parties

In some employment tribunal cases, we might instruct a barrister to advise on your case or represent you at a hearing. The costs can depend on the seniority of the barrister, the location of any hearing and the length and complexity of the hearing.

The typical range of costs for a barrister in a case that proceeds to a one-day contested hearing is likely to start at £1,500 + VAT. We will handle the payment of any costs on your behalf.

In addition, we would charge for the following which are not included in the above figures:

  • Travel costs
  • Overnight accommodation
  • Document production

Factors that could make a case more complex

More complex cases may lead to increased costs, although again this depends on the stage at which the case is concluded. Factors which could make a case more complex include:

  • where there will be more than three witnesses in total
  • where the final hearing is scheduled to be heard over two or more days
  • cases about whistleblowing, discrimination, equal pay, TUPE or large scale redundancy situations
  • cases where the subject matter extends over a significant period of time
  • points of law that have to be determined before the full hearing
  • high value, business critical or high profile cases that carry a significant reputational risk

How long will it take?

The time that it takes from receiving your initial instructions to the final resolution of the case depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during the pre-claim conciliation stage, your case may be resolved in just a few weeks. But, if your claim proceeds to a full hearing, your case may take several months before it is completed.

The timescale is also dictated by how quickly the full hearing can be scheduled to take place. It is not unusual to have to wait between six and 12 months for a full hearing, especially if the time estimate for the hearing is more than one day.

Our team

We have over 25 qualified employment lawyers, of varying levels of seniority and experience who support a range of clients on employment tribunals. 

Other useful links

We advise on the full range of employment law issues. See our Employment and People Services page for further details.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your case in more detail, please contact Andrew Macmillan or your usual Gateley plc contact.