Employment Tribunals

If your organisation becomes involved in an employment tribunal claim, Counterculture can assist with the process from the mandatory first stage conciliation process with ACAS through to formal proceedings and/or settlement.

Types of claim

The fees involved in this type of work will vary dependant on the complexity of a claim. A single claim from a former employee for a procedurally unfair dismissal will be very different to a complex claim of direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of race and religion from an employee still be working in the organisation. A simple claim might cost in the region of £5000 plus VAT in fees; a highly complex claim could be in excess of £25,000 plus VAT – with court fees, barristers fees, and travel expenses in addition to those sums. Any financial award made against you by the tribunal would be a further cost again.

Can we help?

Kathryn Worthington, Bo Escritt and Sarah Robson are experienced members of the Counterculture team dealing with employment and HR matters. We promise to set out the details of the person who will be responsible for your case at the start, in our letter of engagement, along with details of their hourly rates which range from £200 plus VAT per hour (for partners) to £100 plus VAT per hour (for a trainee solicitor). We also have access to some of the best barristers, pension and tax experts if the need arises.

How much will it cost?

We try our best to help reach an amicable solution as soon as possible, but in some cases, complex situations need carefully negotiated solutions. We estimate that for a simple claim the fees for our services to deal with each stage of an employment tribunal claim would be:

  • Taking instructions/initial advice on merits: £400 – £1000 plus VAT
  • Correspondence with all parties and advisors (for example, ACAS pre-conciliation processes or instructions to Counsel): on hourly rates
  • Preparation of claim or response to claim for submission to the Employment Tribunal: £1200 – £1600 plus VAT
  • Ongoing advice on merits, options and tactics as the case progresses: on hourly rates
  • Preparation of document lists and tribunal bundles: £800 – £1200 plus VAT
  • Continuing correspondence with the Tribunal, preparation of any additional documents ordered by the Judge (for example cast lists or chronologies) and correspondence with opponents with regards directions and hearings: on hourly rates
  • Witness statements: £800 – £1600 plus VAT per statement
  • Considering and preparing schedules of loss: £400 – £800 plus VAT
  • Attendance at hearings or tribunals to assist Counsel (if requested): £400 – £750 plus VAT per day
  • Settlement paperwork (either as a COT3 with ACAS or independently): £400 – £800 plus VAT

If it is in your best interests, we will suggest working with a specialist barrister to present your case at a Tribunal. We may also ask a barrister to review claims, responses and witness statements if thought necessary. A barrister’s fees vary significantly according to experience, but can often be a very cost effective way of dealing with a claim. Both the selection of a suitable barrister and their fees will be agreed with you in advance. From past experience, fees for a barrister could be anywhere from £750 – £3000 plus VAT for the initial instruction (including attendance on the first day of a hearing), with additional fees of £750 – £2000 per day if a hearing takes longer.

Factors which might increase complexity and costs would include: making unexpected changes to your instructions or difficulty obtaining complete instructions, additional information/further submissions to the Tribunal being required, parties acting unreasonably in negotiations or taking non-negotiable positions, the number of documents disclosed or witnesses required, or complex issues of discrimination or jurisdiction.

Costs are always kept under review and updates provided to you as the matter progresses. Litigation is expensive, and time consuming: where possible and appropriate a negotiated settlement should always be explored.


The above stages and factors are only indications, and cannot be a complete list: the work required will vary dependant on the facts of each specific case. Equally, the time to resolve a claim will vary: ACAS early conciliation may take from one to six weeks to complete, and if a claim proceeds the date scheduled for a full hearing could be 6- 12 months in the future. We would keep you updated on likely timescales as your claim progresses.