For Employees

Down to earth advice from a specialist lawyer when you need:


Straightforward advice in terms you’ll understand


Someone to fight your corner


A realistic assessment of your position


Value for money


Hourly Rate for an employee/individual is £280 + VAT @ 20%


‘Excellent service’ and ‘exceptional advice’ (Legal 500)


Lexcel Accredited

What is involved in a simple* tribunal claim?

Key Stages in process What is happening
Pre claim Advice on potential claims. Early Conciliation Process via ACAS

Employee outlines nature of case they wish to bring in set form and the Employer issues defence document articulating their defence in a set form. The Forms would be an ET1 Form for the employee and an ET3 Form for the Employer.

Either party can challenge the other over the level of detail they have provided.

Judge involvement Telephone or face to face meetings with a Judge discussing the logistics of the case and ways to help the parties achieve a smooth running of it
Preliminary issues A Judge may need to make rulings on issues such as whether someone is an employee and rule on applications either party can make in relation to how the case is being progressed
Disclosure Listing and disclosing all relevant documents, the parties sharing these documents and discussing those that need to go into the Tribunal Bundle
Preparation of witness evidence Preparing the evidence to be given by relevant people to the Tribunal and exchanging these with your opponent
Brief Counsel (Barrister) Briefing the advocate who will represent you at Hearing
Hearing When a judge will determine the issues in the case
Remedies Hearing The judge may deal with what a winning person gets at a separate hearing to the one where who has won and lost is determined.
*broadly speaking cases can be categorised as follows:
Simple to Medium
Breach of contract
Unpaid wages
Unfair dismissal
Highly Complex

This is broadly reflected in the amounts you can claim. In the highly complex claims the amount a Judge can award will be unlimited and will include an element for injury to feelings.

The fees set out below cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim which may consist of:

  • 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 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 but you will need to bear in mind that taking on a case part-way through can result in an increase of costs having to read into the history.

How long does this take?

The time 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  6 weeks.

The Tribunal system aims to deal with unfair dismissal cases within 26 weeks of the issue of the claim – our experience is this is usually longer and in complex cases like discrimination this can be up to 12 months from when a case is issued. Simple wages cases are likely to be dealt with in less than 6 months.

Anna Denton-JonesWho will deal with my case?
Anna Denton-Jones, an Oxford University graduate in law who qualified in 2000. She has dealt with thousands of cases including the most complex complaints. She spends approximately 30% of her time on tribunal work, the rest is trying to avoid people needing to get there. Her focus is on resolving cases as swiftly and sensibly as practicable to the benefit of her clients. She deploys technology to help deal with your case efficiently. Feedback on Anna is available in our blog.

Refreshing Law has been voted one of the top 200 legal practices in England & Wales by The Times.


What is it going to cost?
Our fees vary according to the issues in your case. Our charges are based on an hourly rate of £280 + VAT charged at 20% and so vary according to the work required in a given case. A full fee quote is available once we have advised on the merits of a case (such an assessment is likely to cost £750-£999 + VAT charged at 20% in an unfair dismissal case without complex factors like whistleblowing allegations and is likely to be around the £1,200 + VAT charged at 20% mark for cases with discrimination angles). We are able to offer fixed fees tailored to your case once we understand what it is. 

Please note: Before instructing a solicitor, check your insurance policy as you may have legal fees cover. Anna would discuss this with you during your initial call.

This includes:

  • Any travel within a 30 mile radius of our office.
  • Us attending hearings with you.


This does NOT include the following additional charges (also known as Disbursements):

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 and they are then added to your invoice from us.

  • £55 issuing a claim
  • Photocopying papers – budget £30 for this – this is only charged if a Bundle is produced.
  • Expenses instructing experts eg:- for medical advice – this will depend on the expert concerned.
  • Counsel fees (the advocate who will argue your case at the Hearing). This depends on the experience of the advocate chosen and will be between £900 and £3,000 per day plus VAT charged at 20%.
  • Longer distance travel expenses.


Illustrations of some average costs and timescales (all costs are + VAT charged at 20%)

a)    An unfair dismissal case which will take two days in Tribunal because of the number of witnesses involved.  It is worth just over a years’ salary. We quote £22,000 plus VAT to fight the case all the way to a hearing. The case is issued in August, there is a mini-hearing for 2 hours before the Judge in December and the final hearing is scheduled for April. Following the mini-hearing the employer offers to settle the case for the equivalent of 6 months’ loss of earnings, loss of bonus and a redundancy payment. It has cost £7,000 plus VAT to get to that point.

b)    An unfair dismissal and claim for notice pay claim which is listed for a one day hearing in Bristol. The case is worth £54,000. We issue the claim in January and quote £18,000 legal fees to fight the case to a full hearing which is listed in October (excluding Counsel fees of a further £1,750 plus VAT). We settle the case for £25,000 in July after the employee spends £11,000 including VAT to reach that stage of the case.

c)    A wrongful dismissal/breach of contract claim for £23,000 listed for a half-day hearing in London. We quote £8,000 + VAT for our fees and it costs £975 + VAT for the barrister. The case doesn’t settle but we are successful. You aren’t able to claim the costs incurred bringing the claim as each party normally bears their own costs in the Employment Tribunal.

d) An employee is offered £350 + VAT contribution towards legal fees for a settlement agreement (which was the going rate in the year 2000!). Our fees are likely to be at least £1,100 + VAT so we negotiate with the employer – we manage to increase the package being paid to the employee by an extra 4 months’ salary and pension contributions and the employer increases the legal fees contribution to £850 + VAT. By the time the agreement is signed off, our legal fees are £1,300 + VAT due to the volume of emails sent back and forth to the employee’s HR department to get the agreement amended so the employee pays £450 + VAT and the employer pays £850 + VAT. The process takes around 10 days.

You will see from these illustrations that it depends on what stage of a claim that a case resolves as to what fees are incurred and how long this takes.

Things that can decrease costs:

  • Organising all the documents relevant to your claim in date order.
  • Saving the documents if you are able as separate PDF files.
  • Taking staples out of documents if providing physical papers.
  • Providing a Word document listing what all these documents are and the date of the document – we can provide you with a form to fill in.
  • Accepting sensible offers of settlement if they are received. We will advise you on this.


 Things that will increase costs:

  •  Where it is necessary to amend claims/provide further details on a claim or make/defend applications during the process (remember we can’t control what steps the opposition takes).
  • Delays caused by the Employment Tribunal (eg:- postponing hearings) or the health of witnesses  or dealing with the backlog of cases.
  • Where mini-hearings are needed before the final one to determine key points eg:- is there a disability?
  • Where there is a high number of witnesses (more than 4).
  • Excessive documentation (Bundles of more than 150 pages).
  • Cases taking up more than one day of Tribunal time (more than 2 witnesses).
  • Automatic unfair dismissal claims where the employee eg:- claims they are a whistleblower.
  • Discrimination claims: these are more complex.
  • Heavy use of email and text/phone calls – we will contact you when there is something to be done and you need to remember you are charged each time you message us.
Anna is very professional, personable and knowledgeable solicitor. She’s also very honest which is sometimes a rare find. I was hugely impressed with how she tackled my employment case. Don’t hesitate, Anna is the person to contact!
SR, Oxfordshire
I was delighted with the friendly, professional service provided by Anna, it felt tailor made for me.
Contracts were signed in the comfort of my own home and it was nice that no offices were needed.
RT, Cardiff.
I highly recommend Anna. Her expertise in employment law is second to none. Her down to earth approach is just what is needed at what can be a very stressful time. I shall be recommending her to all of my friends should the need arise.
HJ Cardiff
Anna has a very personable approach. Excellent attention to detail ensuring that there was a complete understanding. I felt that Anna Denton-Jones had my interest at heart
FT, Yorkshire