Fee Information

Our guidance on fees for bringing and defending claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal

As required by the transparency rules of the Solicitors Regulation Authority we are providing the following information to our clients and prospective clients.  Because each case is unique, the following should be treated as a set of guidelines only.  We will provide you with a more detailed estimate once we have received your instructions.


Our estimated fees for advising and representing you in claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are as follows. If other issues are involved (see below) then our fees may be greater than this.

    •    Straightforward contested case: £4,000 - £9,000 + VAT
    •    Case with some additional complexity:  £12,000 - £20,000 + VAT
    •    Highly complex case:  £20,000 - £30,000 + VAT

All of our solicitors are senior and experienced lawyers with an average of more than 15 years’ experience.  Our fees are usually based on hourly rates and our simple and transparent structure means that all of our solicitors are charged at the same hourly rate of £175 + VAT.

Factors that could make a case more complex include:

    •    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.
    •    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 you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer.
    •    Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

Other costs (Disbursements)

Unlike many other firms, we do not charge for costs which we believe should form part of our business overhead.  So there is no additional cost to you for things like photocopying and courier fees.  We do need to charge you for material disbursements, the most usual of which will be barristers’ fees where we need to engage a barrister (Counsel) on your behalf.  This cost will depend on the complexity of your case, the seniority of the barrister and the number of days the case is listed for hearing.  Barristers’ fees can range from £500 to £10,000 plus VAT per day for attending a hearing (including preparation).  

Key stages

The fees set out above cover services 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 (which may need to be revisited throughout as the matter develops).
    •    Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory.
    •    Preparing the claim or response.
    •    Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party.
    •    Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
    •    Instructions to and liaising with Counsel.
    •    Preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing.
    •    Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
    •    Making or defending interim applications where necessary.
    •    Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents.
    •    Preparing a bundle of documents.
    •    Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
    •    Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements.
    •    Preparing for and attending the final hearing.

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. 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 requirements.


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 is likely to take 4 - 8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case may take 12 months or longer. 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.

Get in Touch

If you would like to know more about Ortolan Legal and how we can help you reduce your ongoing recruitment costs, get in touch!

Email us now

   Or call 020 3743 0600

I’ve personally worked with Ortolan Legal’s managing director on a number of transactions. Their legal advice doesn’t come wrapped in multiple caveats; it takes account of the commercial realities businesses face. Technically, they are really capable and they’re also highly personable people to work with. They represent real value for money.

John Neill CBE, Chairman and CEO Unipart Group
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  • Nick Benson Nick Benson I qualified as a commercial and corporate solicitor…
  • Liz Delgado Liz Delgado I qualified as a solicitor in 1995 after studying…
  • Carrie Beaumont Carrie Beaumont I qualified as an Employment specialist in 2008. I…