Blanchards Bailey

Our Employment Claim fees

The following is an illustration of the factors that go into calculating our fees in cases of unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.

Please note, we are a regulated law firm, meaning that we are governed and monitored by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. We MUST comply with the SRA’s Principles and Code of Conduct, where unregulated advisers do not. Our obligations include, but are not limited to, us having to:

  1. Act in the best interest of each client;
  2. Provide a service which is competent and delivered in a timely manner;
  3. Take account of our client’s attributes, needs and circumstances;
  4. Make sure the lawyers managing and supervising the matter have the requisite legal and practical knowledge to carry out the work and that they keep their professional knowledge and skills up to date;
  5. Safeguard money and assets entrusted to us by clients;
  6. Keep the affairs of current and former clients confidential; and
  7. Provide transparency in relation to our fees and the service we provide.

We value our clients. So, we act proactively and commercial to assist them achieving their objectives.

The information below is set out to assist you in deciding whether you want to instruct us in relation to representing you, as an individual, in relation to bringing claims before the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal. We cannot set out every perceivable situation but we will provide you with an estimate at each of the key stages set out below setting out the likely costs specific to the dispute you have brought. You are free to accept or refuse any estimate that we provide you.

Our fees are calculated on the basis of the time we spend acting on your behalf. All claims are fact-specific to some degree and vary greatly in terms of complexity which means it is not possible to give a simple answer to the question of how much will it cost to bring and progress the claim. We do not offer a ‘fixed-fee’ for undertaking this type of work. To give you an indication of the likely costs involved we have given a broad indication of likely costs in unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims under three bands according to their complexity. We will also give an indication of the types of factors that may add to the complexity of a case:

Simple case: £4,000 – £6,000 (plus VAT) – a ‘simple’ case may be a situation where the only issue in dispute is the act of dismissal itself and there are likely to be very few issues for determination by an Employment Tribunal.

Medium complexity case: £7,000 – £10,000 (plus VAT) – these types of cases may also have other factors in dispute, for example a short history of contested events leading to the dismissal, or a dispute over other issues related to the dismissal, such as whether any payments made (or not made) on termination were correctly calculated. There are likely to be no more than about three or four witnesses of fact at an eventual hearing.

High complexity case: £11,000 – £15,000 (plus VAT) – a ‘high’ complexity case is one where there could be allegations of discrimination, or alleged ‘whistleblowing’. This often has the effect of increasing the number of potential witnesses and/or the volume of documentation that will need to be considered as part of the claim.

Please note, these bandings are for illustration only, the Employment Tribunal does not catagorise claims in this manner.

Matters are billed on a time basis, in six-minute units. Our hourly charges are set out below:

  • Partners: £350 per hour
  • Senior Associate: £310 per hour
  • Associate / Senior Executive £280 per hour
  • Solicitor / Chartered Legal Executive £250 per hour to £265 per hour
  • Graduate Legal Executive: £210 per hour
  • Executive: £210 per hour
  • Assistant/Paralegal: £150 to £185 per hour
  • Trainee Assistant: £130 per hour
  • Clerk rate: £110 to £120 per hour

Other 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;
  • If the other party is unrepresented;
  • Making or defending a costs application;
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant has a disability (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 you are dismissed after an act of ‘whistleblowing’; and
  • Allegations of discrimination (whether they are linked to, or separate from the dismissal).

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £2,200 per day (plus VAT). Generally, for an unfair dismissal claim we would allow 1-5 days for the Tribunal Hearing depending on the complexity of your case, where a ‘medium’ complexity case would probably take no more than two days (although this will ultimately be at the Employment Tribunal’s discretion).


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as counsel’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Disbursements are in addition to the indication of our fees given in the preceding paragraphs.

A barrister will charge a ‘brief fee’ in respect of the work required in preparation up to and including the first day of a hearing a hearing. The cost of this will vary according to the experience of the advocate, but expect to pay in the region of £1,500 to £5,000 for counsel’s brief fee for a simple or medium complex matter. For each day after the first, fees are estimated as between £1,000 to £3,000 (plus VAT) per day (again depending on experience of the advocate) for attending the Tribunal Hearing.

The UK’s current standard rate of VAT is 20%.

Key stages

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

Preparation Stage

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and potential risk and level of damages awrded (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change);
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation (this is mandatory for a Claimant) to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing claim;
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from the other party;
  • As with all the stages, the time taken will vary, but this preparation stage will probably take at least three hours (and may take longer).

Negotiation & Settlement

  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss;
  • For a variety of reasons, some cases are more capable of settlement than others. It should also be noted that this stage may occur during any point of the proceedings. As a minimum this stage will take at least two hours.

Documents and Preparation

  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing;
  • This stage is likely to take the single most amount of time, at least three to five hours.

Witness Evidence

  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
  • Preparing the bundle of documents;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • A single witness statement for a key witness is likely to take at least two to three hours to prepare.

Preparation for hearing

  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list; and
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.
  • Again, this will vary depending on the case, but the final preparations usually take several hours.

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will reflect this. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged based 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 could take 4-6 weeks from the point you first instruct us. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case may take up to a year (or even longer) as the scheduling of hearings is not something within our control. This is just 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.

Our team has over 45 years of collective experience in delivering an exception level of service and legal advice in all matters relating to employment law. They have particular expertise in employee grievances, disputes and claims.

We have two members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by the Head of the department, Paul Dunlop. If you instruct us to act for you then you will receive additional information about those dealing with your matter in our letter of engagement. The members of the team and their profiles can be located on the website here.

So, how can we help?

Whatever your requirements, our team is standing by.

Blanchards Bailey
Blanchards Bailey

So, how can we help?

Whatever your requirements, our team is standing by.

Call us today on
01258 459361