England & Wales only

Our pricing for defending claims of unfair or wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunals

Our charges for defending claims of unfair or wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunals in England & Wales range between £5,000 and £200,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements*). This range assumes the case has only one claimant and does not involve multiple causes of action including discrimination or claims which contain allegations of detriment related to the making of a protected disclosure. Where within this range the cost of a case falls will depend on factors including complexity and whether, and, if relevant, at what stage of proceedings, the case settles or is withdrawn. In exceptional circumstances our charges may fall outside the stated range. Some example charges are set out in Annex 1.

Our charges are, unless agreed otherwise, calculated by reference to the hourly charge rate of and the time spent by our solicitors and executive staff in dealing with the matter. Hourly charge rates vary depending on seniority and experience.

Should you engage DLA Piper UK LLP to defend a claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal against you, we will discuss and agree the specific charges with you and will adhere to our client care obligations which include ensuring that you receive the best possible information, both at the time of engagement and as the matter progresses, about the likely overall cost of your matter.


Factors that could make a case more complex include:

  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person.
  • If it is necessary to defend an application to amend a claim or to apply for an order for further information about a claim.
  • Making or defending a costs application.
  • Complex preliminary issues such as determining employment status.
  • The number of witnesses and documents.
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. a dismissal involving a whistleblower.
  • If it is a case involving the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.

Key stages

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

  • Reviewing claim form and relevant documents, providing an initial assessment of the merits of the case and potential liability (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change).
  • Drafting and filing response to claim.
  • Issuing and reviewing response to request for further and better particulars of claim.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process and negotiating and concluding any settlement reached.
  • Reviewing the Claimant's schedule of loss and preparing a counter schedule of loss where appropriate.
  • Considering whether any interlocutory applications should be made e.g. application to strike out the claim.
  • Preparing for and attending a Preliminary Hearing.
  • Advising on the disclosure process, preparing a list of documents and agreeing the bundle for the hearing with the other party.
  • Considering who to call as a witness, taking statements from them and finalising these. Exchanging witness statements with the other party and reviewing their statements.
  • Where appropriate, agreeing a list of issues, a chronology, and/or cast list.
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.
  • Advising on remedies and preparing for and attending any Remedies Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication of the common stages of an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim, but a case may not always involve all of these stages or may involve additional stages.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The fees of an independent barrister for advising on a matter and attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation) can be a significant expense which will vary depending on the experience of the barrister, the complexity of the case, and the hearing length. Fees for a barrister to attend a one day hearing, in most cases, fall within the range of £2,000 to £10,000 (excluding VAT).

Duration of unfair and wrongful dismissal proceedings

The time that it takes from taking initial instructions to the final resolution of a matter depends largely on the stage at which the case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, a case is likely to take 4 to 6 weeks. If a claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, the case is likely to take 26 to 52 weeks. This is an estimate and a more accurate timescale will be given based on the specifics of the case and as the matter progresses.

Employment team details

Our UK Employment Group comprises approximately 60 specialist employment lawyers who spend 100% of their time advising on employment law, including unfair and wrongful dismissal cases.

Matters involving unfair and wrongful dismissal claims will be overseen and supervised by one of our UK employment partners whose details are available on the “People” section of dlapiper.com.

Day to day work on a matter will be undertaken by other members of the firm's UK Employment Group including:

  • Legal Directors – highly experienced employment lawyers generally with at least eight years of post-qualification experience specialising in employment law.
  • Senior Associates – experienced employment lawyers generally with at least four years of post-qualification experience specialising in employment law.
  • Associates -employment lawyers with generally between zero and four years of post-qualification specialising experience in employment law.
  • Trainee solicitors – unqualified, trainee lawyers spending six months of their two year training contract in the Employment Group.


Example 1: Simple unfair or wrongful dismissal claim with successful outcome at a one day employment tribunal hearing: £15,000 to £40,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements*)

Example 2: Medium complexity unfair dismissal case with a preliminary hearing and a five day employment tribunal merits hearing: £40,000 to £100,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements*)

Example 3: High complexity unfair dismissal case with multiple preliminary matters and a ten day employment tribunal merits hearing: £100,000 to £200,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements*)

* Barrister's fees are not included. These can be a significant disbursement in employment tribunal cases.