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Costs for bringing or defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

Our pricing for the bringing or the defending of unfair or wrongful dismissal claims only is as follows:

All services provided by Napthens LLP are subject to VAT at the current rate of 20%

Our prices

  • Simple case: £3,500 – £5,000 (plus VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £5,000 – £10,000 (plus VAT)
  • High complexity case: £10,000 – £20,000 (plus VAT)


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;
  • 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

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £500 per day (plus VAT).  Generally, we would allow 1-3 days for a Final Hearing depending on the complexity of your case.



Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as tribunal/court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Disbursements can include Counsel’s fees estimated between £1,250 to £2,500 (plus VAT) per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Final Hearing (including preparation). Counsel may also be required to attend Preliminary Hearings. Where this is required, their fees to attend such a hearing are estimated to be between £500 to £1,000 (plus VAT) depending on the nature and length of the hearing. Disbursements can also include fees for expert reports, such as medical reports from occupational health, and this could cost between £200 – £400 (plus VAT) depending the level of complexity of the medical condition in question.


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 is likely to take 4 – 6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 – 12 months. 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.


Key stages

The fees set out above cover 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;
  • Preparing claim or response;
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from 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 bundle of documents;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list;
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication of what may be required, and if some of the 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 on your individual needs.

Our team has over 20 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to employment tribunal matters. The team has particular expertise unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.

We have six members of the team who will usually work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Chris Boyle, Partner and Head of Employment.


Chris Boyle – Partner and Head of Employment

Chris is a partner at Napthens and head of the employment and HR team. He joined Napthens in 2004 having qualified as a solicitor in 2001 and became a partner in 2008. Chris obtained his degree and a post-graduate diploma in employment law from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Chris has expertise across a wide range of employment issues, and has experience dealing with claims including those for unfair dismissal, equal pay, discrimination, TUPE and wrongful dismissal. Chris’s experience includes him having dealt with claims on behalf of employers in the manufacturing and leisure industries, as well as senior executives.


Kimberley Barrett-St. Vall – Partner

Kimberley re-joined Napthens’ employment team in 2010 after previously working with us as a trainee. She undertook her law degree at Durham University and studied the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law Chester. Kimberley qualified as a solicitor in 2007, and became a partner at Napthens in 2016.

Kimberley has been dealing with employment tribunal matters since qualifying as a solicitor. She has particular experience dealing with equal pay, unfair dismissal, redundancy and class-action TUPE claims, and has acted for a wide variety clients including SMEs and large plcs.


Lorna Rigby – Senior Associate Solicitor

Lorna is a senior associate solicitor and is based in our Liverpool office. Lorna joined Napthens in 2018 having qualified as a solicitor in 2007. Lorna worked in Liverpool for 9 years in employment law after she qualified, then moved to Manchester before returning to Liverpool when she joined Napthens.

Lorna has a wide depth of knowledge in employment law and has expertise in acting for businesses defending claims in the employment tribunal, including those involving sensitive and complex issues such as disability discrimination, unfair dismissal, and equal pay claims. Lorna regularly works for clients in the leisure, retail, hospitality and education sectors.


Anthony Fox – Associate Solicitor

Anthony qualified as a solicitor in 2015 and has been working in our employment team ever since. Anthony has a degree in Law from the Manchester Metropolitan University and also completed the Legal Practice Course there. Since leaving university, Anthony has gained more than 8 years of experience in dealing with tribunal claims, and has a strong interest in minimum wage, holiday pay and discrimination claims. Anthony spends 50% of his time on tribunal work and 50% providing employment and HR advice generally.

Anthony has handled tribunal claims in relation to a variety of areas, including unfair dismissal, race, disability and sex discrimination, minimum wage and holiday pay. Clients have included those in the retail and construction sectors, as well as agriculture and care services.


Daniel Rawcliffe – Solicitor

Daniel is based in our Liverpool office and has experience dealing with numerous matters in the employment tribunal for large commercial clients. Daniel joined Napthens in July 2018 having qualified as a solicitor in 2016.

Daniel is particularly interested in unfair dismissal and discrimination cases, and has been successful in handling a wide variety of different matters both at final hearings and through settlement. Daniel has particular expertise working for clients in the care sector.


Natalie Parkinson – Solicitor

Natalie is a solicitor in the employment team and is based in our Blackburn office. Natalie qualified as a solicitor in 2017 and joined Napthens in the same year. Natalie obtained a degree in history from the University of Leeds before completing the GDL and LPC at the University of Central Lancashire.

Natalie has experience of dealing with complex employment tribunal cases, including those for discrimination and unfair dismissal, and has quickly developed her advocacy skills as a result.


What is our hourly rate?


The hourly rates for the wider Employment Team are set out below:

Partner                                    £250.00 (plus VAT) per hour

Senior Associate Solicitor       £200.00 (plus VAT) per hour

Associate Solicitor                  £185.00 (plus VAT) per hour

Solicitor                                   £175.00 (plus VAT) per hour

Employment Law Advisor       £165.00 (plus VAT) per hour

HR Advisor                              £120.00 (plus VAT) per hour

HR Consultant                         £120.00 (plus VAT) per hour

Trainee Solicitor                      £111.00 (plus VAT) per hour

Paralegal                                 £100.00 (plus VAT)per hour

Legal Assistant                        £75.00 (plus VAT) per hour


Alternative funding options

Bringing a claim

You should consider whether you have legal expenses insurance as part of your car or household contents insurance policy. This insurance may cover your legal costs for bringing an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim. We may also be able to offer fixed fee for each stage of the Employment Tribunal process.


Defending a claim

We offer employers an employment and HR advisory service on a fixed fee basis. The cost of defending an Employment Tribunal claim will be charged separately to this, but we will consider offering capped fees.

The above fees are indicative only. At the outset of any claim we will provide you with a clear and upfront cost estimate. We will update that estimate as the case progresses.