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solicitors sheffield

Employment Law Fees

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal:

Acting for the Employee

If we act for you as an employee in bringing an unfair dismissal claim, we will almost always run the claim on a Damages-Based Agreement basis (a form of 'no win no fee') where if you are successful, once you obtain payment of the damages award, we get paid out of that sum. Typically our fee will be 30% (inclusive of VAT) of the damages payment, payable by you alone.

Wrongful dismissal claims are relatively rare. For simple claims, or claims worth less than £10000, our charges tend to be based on fixed fees for specific items of work carried out for you as employee, to be agreed with you beforehand. The following figures are examples only:

  • £150- £300+VAT for a letter of claim;
  • £200-£300+VAT for Particulars of Claim/Particulars of Complaint;
  • £350-£600+VAT for witness statements.

For cases where the value of the claim is over £10,000 or the claim is complex in nature, we will reserve the right to charge an hourly rate for our time spent on the case, which could lead to the following costs being incurred:

Simple case: £750-£2000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £2000-£5000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £5000+ (excluding VAT)

Acting for the Employer

The costs to be incurred in defending claims for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal on behalf of employers will depend on the value and complexity of the claim. Where the work can be carried out on the basis of fixed fee work, the following figures are examples of possible fees:

  • £250- £450+VAT for letter in response;
  • £300-£500+VAT for Defence/Response;
  • £450-£800+VAT for witness statements.

For cases where the value of the claim against the employer is over £10000, or is sufficiently complex, we will reserve the right to charge an hourly rate for our time spent on the case, which could lead to the following costs being incurred:

Simple case: £750-£2000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £2000-£5000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £5000+ (excluding VAT)

Factors that could make bringing or defending a claim 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
  • 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


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

Counsel's fees are generally estimated between £750 to £3000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation), if it is agreed that Counsel is required.

Key stages

The 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 awards (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 and if some of stages above are not required, the fee may 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 needs, and will tend to lead to fixed fees being payable.

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 no more than 3-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is more likely to take 26-42 weeks. 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.

Example template (Range of fixed fees) for a business to business debt that is undisputed

Court Claims

These costs apply only where your claim is a relatively basic debt recovery claim in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed, and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Our fees referred to below depend on the amount of work that we are required to carry out in order to take your initial instructions, and the work and detail required to be carried out to draft your letter of claim; the range of fees is designed to highlight the lowest and highest amount that may be charged.

Debt value

Court fee

Our fee (ex. VAT)


£5,001 - £10,000




£10,001 - £50,000

5% value of the claim



Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
  • The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.

Our fee includes:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
  • When Judgement in default in received, writing to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within X days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Matters usually take 6-10 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

Enquiry Form

Our lawyers offer legal advice and representation at court or the police station on a private or legal aid basis. Legal aid is available in some areas of law only. Please see our pages on legal aid for more advice. We offer a free initial consultation in some areas of law. Personal Injury compensation claims can be conducted on a 'no win no fee' basis.