Costs Information for Employees and Employers

Employment law, Newbury, Berkshire.

Bringing and Defending Claims for Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal


This costs information is provided in compliance with the SRA Transparency Rules and the Price and Service Transparency guidance issued by the Law Society. These Rules mandate us to disclose costs information concerning advising and representing employees and employers in unfair and wrongful dismissal claims before the employment tribunal. The information presented here is intended as a guide and should not be considered a binding quote for handling your specific case. If you decide to engage our services, we will provide you with a customized fee estimate tailored to your particular circumstances.

An unfair dismissal claim pertains to a statutory claim concerning the fairness of the dismissal. On the other hand, a wrongful dismissal claim is a contractual claim for compensation arising from a failure to pay some or all of the notice pay. Only wrongful dismissal claims valued up to £25,000 can be pursued in the employment tribunal. Claims exceeding this amount must be brought in the High Court and fall outside the scope of the SRA Transparency Rules. This information provided is not intended to constitute legal advice or an exhaustive overview of every potential scenario that may arise in an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal. We are obligated to inform you about probable third-party costs, such as barristers' fees. However, please be aware that changes to these costs are beyond our control, and we cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in this information, which is based on our experience and provided as a general reference only.

Who Will Work on Your Case?

Your case will be handled by one or more members of Fenton Elliott’s employment team. You can find their contact details, experience, and qualifications below. Any team member below Partner level will be supervised by one of the Partners in the team.

Simon Fenton, Partner

BSc (Hons) 1985, LLB (Hons) 1990, Law Society Finals 1991, Solicitor, qualified 1993
£395 plus VAT per hour

Julie Taylor, Partner

LLB (Hons) 2003, Post Graduate Diploma Legal Practice 2005, Solicitor, qualified 2007
£350 plus VAT per hour 

Catherine Danaher

LLB (Hons) 1987, LLM (Master of Laws) 2000, Law Society Finals 1991, Solicitor, qualified 1993
£250 plus VAT per hour 

Jamie Beland

£150 plus VAT per hour

Our Fees

Our fees are calculated based on the time spent by the relevant team member at their respective hourly rates. As of January 1, 2024, the hourly rates in the employment team range from £150 plus VAT per hour to £395 plus VAT per hour. Please note that our hourly rates may be subject to increase each November. In certain cases, we may offer lower hourly rates. While we typically do not work under conditional fee agreements or damages-based agreements, such arrangements may be available upon request. Below, we have outlined our fee range for both a standard unfair and wrongful dismissal claim (excluding whistleblowing or other automatic unfair dismissal claims) and a standard whistleblowing/other automatic unfair and wrongful dismissal claim.

Fee Range - Standard Unfair and Wrongful Dismissal Case (Excluding Whistleblowing or Other Automatic Unfair Dismissal Cases)

The following prices provide an estimate of the range of costs for a standard unfair or wrongful dismissal case. For a precise case-specific estimate, kindly get in touch with the adviser assigned to your case.

Our fees for bringing or defending a standard claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal typically range from £12,000 to £25,000 plus VAT. This fee range is influenced by the varying levels of experience among our solicitors and other advisers, as well as their different locations. All our advisers are supervised by Partners of the firm who possess considerable expertise in unfair and wrongful dismissal cases.

Additionally, there will be an extra charge for attending the employment tribunal hearing, which usually ranges from £750 to £1,500 plus VAT per day. Please note that charges for barristers and disbursements are separate from our fees.

VAT on Fees

Our fees are subject to the standard rate of UK VAT, currently set at 20%, except in cases where we indicate otherwise. The only circumstance where we do not charge VAT (regarding fees) is when billing an individual or company residing outside the UK.

What Does a "Standard" Case Typically Involve?

A standard case generally encompasses the following:

Scope of Work and Estimated Timescales - Standard Unfair Dismissal/Wrongful Dismissal Case

Stage 1:

Estimated timescale for Stage 1: Approximately 5 to 12 weeks

Stage 2:

Estimated timescale for Stage 2: Approximately 2 to 4 weeks

Stage 3:

Estimated timescale for Stage 3: Approximately 4 to 8 weeks

Stage 4:

Estimated timescale for Stage 4: Approximately 4 to 8 weeks

The stages outlined above serve as a general indication, and if certain stages are not required for your case, the associated fees will not be charged. Some items listed within a particular stage may occur at different points in the process, as each case varies in its progression. For instance, settlement discussions can take place at any time throughout the process and may be lengthy and detailed. Should you prefer to handle specific aspects of the claim yourself or seek our advice for only certain stages, we can tailor our services to meet your individual needs.

Typically, a standard automatic unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal case will not include the following elements. However, please be aware that in some instances, these items may be relevant to standard cases, and they would then be charged separately outside the standard case fee range:

Factors Influencing Fee Adjustments in Standard or Non-Standard Cases - Both "Ordinarily Unfair" and "Automatically Unfair"

Our costs information and any case-specific fee estimate are provided based on the following considerations:

In cases where we deem communication to be excessive, we will work with you to reduce the volume. However, if reducing communication is not feasible, we will promptly inform you of any additional fees or costs you may incur. Similarly, if information is not provided promptly, is incomplete, or inaccurate, leading to additional time spent on your case, we will advise you of any resulting additional fees or costs.

Postponed hearings can occur for various reasons, ranging from last-minute applications for postponement from either party to the employment tribunal's postponement due to a lack of judges. Such postponements may result in additional costs due to the need to prepare again for the rescheduled hearing.

Protracted settlement discussions, particularly when an agreement is almost reached but fails at the eleventh hour, can also contribute to increased costs. We will keep you informed about costs, and if we believe that excessive costs are being incurred due to this aspect of the claim, we will promptly notify you of any additional costs you may face.

Barristers' Fees and Disbursements

Disbursements are expenses related to your case, payable either to us or to third parties. We typically handle disbursement payments on your behalf, but there may be instances where you are asked to pay them directly.

In a standard unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal case (excluding whistleblowing or other automatic unfair dismissal cases), we usually appoint an external barrister, also known as Counsel, to represent you at the final employment tribunal hearing. The fees for Counsel's representation at a two-day final hearing in a standard case are likely to fall within the range of £1,500 to £8,000 plus VAT. The fee range varies due to our engagement of barristers from different Chambers, with a wide range of experience and expertise. Additionally, their locations may differ, some based in London (where costs are generally higher) and others outside of London. If required, depending on the case's complexity, Counsel may also prepare for and attend a preliminary hearing. For a standard case involving a two-hour preliminary hearing, the range of fees for preparing and attending such a hearing will be £750 to £2,500 plus VAT. In many cases, your adviser may handle the preliminary hearing themselves, keeping costs within the standard case range. If any hearing is postponed at short notice, Counsel's fees for preparation and attendance on the first day may become payable. If a reconvened hearing is necessary, you would need to pay the fee again.

In a standard automatic unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal case, the representation by Counsel at a final four-day hearing typically incurs fees ranging from £4,000 to £20,000 plus VAT. As with the standard unfair dismissal cases, the range is due to our selection of barristers from different Chambers with varying experience and expertise, along with location differences. The complexity of the case may also require Counsel's involvement in preparing and attending two preliminary hearings, each lasting two hours. The fees for each preliminary hearing will be within the range of £750 to £2,500 plus VAT. Similar to the previous case, if a hearing is postponed at short notice, preparation and attendance fees may apply, with the possibility of needing to pay again for the reconvened hearing. In standard automatic unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal cases, we typically do not seek Counsel's input in drafting or reviewing pleadings or witness statements. However, if deemed necessary and cost-effective, we will provide you with a separate estimate accordingly. Generally, one conference (meeting) with Counsel is common in these cases, with fees depending on the conference's length and the amount of preparation time.

Other Disbursements - Standard Unfair Dismissal and Standard Automatic Unfair Dismissal Cases

In both types of standard cases, additional disbursements may be incurred, including the following:

We are required to specify the average cost or range of costs for disbursements when the actual cost is not known. Based on a standard unfair and wrongful dismissal case where the employment tribunal is within daily commuting range of the adviser and barrister, and the hearing lasts for two days, typical disbursement costs range between £200 to £300 for all chargeable travel costs and £75 to £150 for courier and bulk copying charges, in each case plus VAT.

However, if the employment tribunal is located more than a three-hour commute away from the adviser's or barrister's home, office, or Chambers, hotel accommodation will likely be arranged. In such instances, the range of accommodation plus subsistence costs per night for one adviser and barrister would be between £100 and £150 plus VAT per person per night.

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