Employment Tribunal Costs

The Forbes Employment team can provide support to businesses in a cost effective way to ensure that they are in the best possible position to defend a claim brought against them whilst still receiving value for money.

More about Employment Tribunal Costs

We are able to offer a range of costs options to businesses, which include special rates for HR Complete and existing clients, fixed fee menu pricing as well as hourly rates.

Although costs will vary depending on the type of case that is being defended by a business our pricing for defending claims (including cost of preparation and representation at the Final Hearing) for unfair or wrongful dismissal are as follows:

Complexity Cost
A simple case: £7,000 - £9,000 plus VAT
A medium complexity case: £8,000 - £12,000 plus VAT
A high complexity case: £12,000 - £17,000 plus VAT

Factors that could make a case more complex are:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim;

  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person (i.e. an individual with no legal representation);

  • Making or defending a costs application;

  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (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 the claimant is claiming they were dismissed after blowing the whistle on you as their employer;

  • Allegations of discrimination that are linked to the dismissal.

There may be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing if Counsel are representing you and there is also a need for a member of the Forbes team to accompany you; the charge for our team member will be between £1000 - £1750 per day (plus VAT at 20%). Generally, we would estimate that a Tribunal hearing will take 1-3 days depending on the complexity of your case.



Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Counsel's fees if they are asked to represent you at a Tribunal Hearing, although often Forbes will be representing you at a Tribunal Hearing (costs noted above). We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Counsel's fees estimated between £850 to £1500 per day (plus VAT at 20%) (depending on the experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)

Expenses may also be charged for photocopying documents for an Employment Tribunal hearing, travel and hotel accommodation and ID verification checks. All expenses subject to VAT at 20%.

Key stages

Key stages

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

  • 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 pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;

  • Reviewing and advising on the claim brought against you or a response (defence) from another party;

  • Preparing the response (defence) to a claim;

  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;

  • Considering a schedule of loss and preparing a counter 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 a list of issues, a chronology and/or a list of the witnesses;

  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing (which may include instructions to Counsel if appropriate).

The stages set out above are an indication of the typical stages that a claim will go through. If some of the stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. Conversely, if additional stages are needed then the fee may be increased - for example, if an application is made to the Tribunal asking them to make an order to get the other side to do something or for the Tribunal to make an earlier decision on a matter, then the cost of making that application or representing you at a preliminary hearing may increase the cost.

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 on your individual needs.

How long will my matter take?

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, the case is likely to take 2-4 weeks. If the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6-12 months from when you receive the notice of the claim from the Tribunal. 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.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Employment Tribunals are experiencing delays to their normal timescales, although they do vary from one Employment Tribunal office to another. You could expect to see a further 6 to 12 month delay to the normal timescales set out above in your case during the pandemic, which is also likely to lead to ongoing delays for some time after the pandemic as the Employment Tribunals catch up.

Our dedicated Employment & HR team


Partner and National Head of Employment & Education, Employment & HR

Jonathan Holden

Emma Swan.jpg

Partner and Head of Commercial Employment, Employment & HR

Emma Swan

Ruth Rule Mulllen.jpg

Partner and Head of Public Sector Employment, Employment & HR

Ruth Rule-Mullen

Andrew Halpin.jpg

Partner, Employment & HR

Andrew Halpin

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