Employment Tribunal Costs

One of our specialisms is employment tribunal litigation. The defence of any Tribunal claim brought against our clients will be led by Joanne Twiss who is an experienced litigator with over 20 years of experience in Tribunal claims. Alison Phillips, who has more than 11 years’ experience defending Tribunal claims may also work with you on these matters. Both Joanne and Alison are qualified solicitors who hold a practising certificate.

Costs for defending our clients in Tribunal claims vary considerably depending on a number of factors, including how far the matter proceeds. Most claims settle before getting to a final hearing. It is difficult to provide generic estimates, but the below information sets out typical ranges, based on our experience. Further information will be provided to our clients in matters on which we are instructed.

Simple case: £5,000 – £15,000 (excluding VAT, charged at 20%)

Medium complexity case: £15,000 – £25,000 (excluding VAT, charged at 20%)

High complexity case: £25,000 – £50,000 plus (excluding VAT, charged at 20%)

Tribunal costs are usually calculated by reference to our hourly rates, however there may be occasions on which we agree fixed fees for certain elements of the work, as discussed individually with our clients.


At present, our hourly rates are as follows:

Joanne Twiss qualified as a solicitor in 1998. Her rate is £325 per hour plus VAT (charged at 20%).

Alison Phillips qualified as a solicitor in 2010. Her rate is £295 per hour plus VAT (charged at 20%).

The above Tribunal costs do not include the attendance of a barrister (Counsel) at any Tribunal hearing.

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
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

We do not offer conditional fee or damages based agreements.



Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as barristers’ costs or photocopying charges. We handle these payments on your behalf.

Counsel’s fees vary depending on the seniority of the barrister and the length of the hearing and are always provided in advance. Counsel’s fees are estimated at between £750 to £3,500 plus VAT (charged at 20%) per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).


Key stages

The estimated fees set out above cover all of 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 response
  • Reviewing and advising on claim from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Considering a Schedule of loss and preparing a Counter schedule
  • 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 for and attendance at a Judicial Mediation Hearing (if appropriate)
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

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



It is difficult to provide accurate timescales as this will be dependent on the caseload of the relevant Tribunal, the complexity of the matter, and at what stage, if any, that settlement is reached. We will be able to provide more accurate timescales in specific cases in which we are instructed and as the matter progresses.

In some cases, we able to reach settlement via ACAS in which case a matter may be resolved within 2-4 weeks of Scully Twiss being instructed.

In other cases, we may be instructed to prepare and lodge an ET3 response to a Tribunal claim, which process can take between 5-21 days, and then it may be that the claim is settled shortly afterwards. If not, a claim may be settled at any point between the ET3 Response being lodged and the Tribunal Hearing. If the matter proceeds to a Tribunal Hearing, the case is likely to take between 6- 24 months, depending on the backlog at the particular Tribunal. You will appreciate that this is just an estimate, and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have all of the details and as the matter progresses.

The above figures, stages and timeframes are estimates, based on the average Tribunal claims we deal with. These details will vary from case to case and, depending on the actions of the parties to a dispute, and the particular facts of any specific case, the estimates provided above may be exceeded or reduced. We will always provide our clients with updates on the above matters where we are instructed on a particular case.