For Employers

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


Employment law expertise


Pragmatic advice on managing any staffing situation


A realistic assessment of your position


Someone to fight your corner


Workplace Mediation




Hourly rate for an employer/organisation is £295 + VAT @ 20%


Extra HR Support

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 a 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:

  • 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 is 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. We tend not to take on cases part-way through as this can actually lead to increased costs as the work can be greater.


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 for tribunal work is based on an average hourly rate of £295 + 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, including reviewing all paperwork (such an assessment is likely to cost £999 + VAT charged at 20%). We are able to offer fixed fees tailored to your case once we understand what it is.

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.

  • 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 timescale (all costs shown are plus VAT charged at 20%)

a) A building company has a one day case against them for unfair dismissal in a case where the employee is legally represented. The amount claimed is £85,000. We quote £20,000 to defend the case and the barrister will cost £3,000 plus VAT. The claim is issued in November in one year and due to go to a hearing the following May but there is a delay because of witness availability so it is moved to August. We settle the case for £4,500 in May when the employer has spent £13,125 plus VAT.

b) A charity has a two day case for unfair dismissal where they have three witnesses. The value of the claim is a year’s salary plus £4,810. The case is brought in March but the Hearing is due in October. We quote them £23,000 plus VAT for the case and the barrister was going to cost £6,000 plus VAT. The case is settled for £12,000 in July when they have spent £16,565 plus VAT.

c) A partnership has a case for whistleblowing unfair dismissal in a London Tribunal where the Claimant is claiming £180,000. The case starts in January and is listed for October the next year. It costs the employer £27,000 plus VAT to reach a four day hearing and they spend a further £9,500 plus VAT on barrister’s fees. They win. They cannot claim the costs incurred bringing the claim as each party normally bears their own costs in the Employment Tribunal.

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 each document as a separate PDF file.
  • Taking staples out of documents.
  • 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.
  • Part-preparation of witness statements yourselves.
  • Accepting sensible offers of settlement if they are received. We will advise you on this.


Things that will increase costs:

  • Defending cases brought by litigants in person.
  • 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 as a result of a backlog of cases.
  • Where mini-hearings are needed before the final one to determine key points eg:- is there a disability? These hearings can cost around £5,000 + VAT.
  • 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.
  • Making or defending a costs application.
The difference is that whilst most employment advice tends to focus on what cannot be done but with Refreshing Law what can be done is quickly established and pragmatic solutions always found.
I have worked with Anna for over 10 years and in that time have used her experience and knowledge to develop and improve my managers’ confidence of dealing with employee issues of all types.
In particular, the opportunity to discuss and get advice on issues as they arise has delivered great value by getting things right first time and avoiding costly mistakes.


David Matthews, Sector MD international service group.

Orangebox have really valued Anna’s down to earth and pragmatic approach.  Not only is her speed of response excellent but her advice is always solution orientated and practical. 


We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Anna and Refreshing Law to anyone looking for employment related advice.

Alison Lewis, Orangebox

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