Harrowells Banner Image

Our Resolve. Your Resolution.

View all services for Employment

Unfair and wrongful dismissal claims

Wrongful dismissal v Unfair dismissal

Wrongful dismissal claims focus purely on whether your contract was terminated in accordance with the terms of your contract. Unfair dismissal claims look at the reasons why your employment was terminated and whether these are valid under prevailing employment law.

The price and service information on this page relates only to making claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal. Please call us on 01904 558600 to discuss our service and charges in relation to other aspects of employment law advice.

Why choose us

  • Responsive service – helpful where events are fast moving
  • Practical guidance – help you avoid making ill-judged responses or decisions
  • Knowledgeable – understand your rights and how to use these to the full
  • Experienced – know how best to handle a wide range of situations, no matter how unusual

The cost of not doing it properly

It is really important to seek specialist employment legal advice, otherwise you may:

  • Invalidate or limit the scope and/or value of your claim by not following the correct procedures or incorrectly or not fully explaining your claims
  • Fail to identify and make the most of your ‘negotiating hand’
  • Make unfavourable decisions or attend key meetings ill-prepared without the benefit of timely professional advice
  • Lose at the Employment Tribunal despite having a good underlying case

Key stages and timescales

It is important to understand that not all unfair or wrongful dismissal claims proceed all the way to the Employment Tribunal. In many cases, particularly with the help of experienced employment lawyers, the parties settle before incurring significant costs or time. Early advice from us will improve your chances of reaching a favourable settlement.

 What’s covered

Typical timescales*

1 Meeting & advice as to prospectsMeet with you, review your claim and provide written advice as to prospects of success1-3 weeks
2 Drafting & submitting the claim form and details of your dispute

Prepare the claim form and details

Seek your instructions where required

Finalise following your instructions and final approval

Submit claim online

2-3 weeks
3 Review the content of the detailed defence

Review the content

Seek your instructions and further relevant evidence on the defence content

Provide a revised view on prospects

1-2 weeks


4 Prepare a Schedule of Loss

Obtain detailed financial information from you

Prepare draft schedule

Finalise and supply to the employer

1-3 weeks
5 Disclosure of Documents

Gather all relevant evidence from you and collate for disclosure

Review documents disclosed by your employer and obtain information from you on the content

1-6 weeks
6 Bundle preparationReview and agree the proposed bundle index from your employer1-2 weeks
7 Witness statements

Prepare a witness statement

Review statements received from your employer

3-6 weeks
8 Final HearingInstruct a barrister to represent you at the hearing1 week

* Please note that the timescales given above relate to the time which we anticipate it will take for us to undertake that particular stage of the work.  The time that it might take from commencing your claim to reaching the final hearing will vary depending upon various factors (including how busy the tribunal is) but could be typically anything from 6 to 18 months.

Our charges

We tailor our support to your circumstances and requirements. The charges can vary in a number of ways dependent upon factors such as:

  • The simplicity (or otherwise) of the facts in the case
  • The number of witnesses and documents that you, or your employer, put forward
  • Whether a preliminary hearing is held to review a particular point before the claim proceeds
  • Whether either party makes an application at any stage
  • The conduct and/or tactics of (the person/organisation representing) your employer (charges will be very different in a case where no real challenges are made or communications are received after the initial response to the claim and one where every step is challenged or communications are frequent)
  • How often you make contact with us

As a result, our charges will need to take these aspects into account. Note also that, if you have employment claims’ cover (for example, as an ‘add-on’ to your household insurance), then you may be able to recover these costs from your insurer.

Our fees for a wrongful or unfair dismissal claim (taken through stages 1-8) start from £6,000 exc VAT (£7,200 inc VAT). This assumes the most simple and straightforward unfair dismissal claim involving, amongst other things, simple facts and minimal documentary evidence, no more than one witness for either party, no preliminary hearings or applications and minimal communications with your employer.

Typically wrongful or unfair dismissal claims can involve significant documentary evidence, several witnesses and challenges from the other party. As a guide, our fees, on average, for a wrongful or unfair dismissal claim (taken through stages 1-8) are £14,700 exc VAT (£17,640 inc VAT). These fees are based on the following hourly rates: partner-level solicitor £378 inc VAT; solicitor £234 inc VAT; trainee solicitor £144 inc VAT. Higher hourly rates may apply in cases where our advice is being sought at short notice and we need to prioritise and resource accordingly.

None of the figures above take into account unfair dismissal claims which are accompanied by other more complex claims such as the following (non-exhaustive) examples:-

  • Discrimination claims
  • Whistleblowing claims
  • Equal pay claims

In cases involving other complex issues, we will provide a quotation for the work bespoke to your particular circumstances.

Typical third party charges (disbursements)

Our fees do not include Counsel's fees for representing you at a hearing which are estimated between £1,200 (inc VAT) per day and £4,800 (inc VAT) per day (depending on the seniority of the barrister).

Other charges which may apply in more unusual situations:

  • Travel costs
  • Postage costs (for posting larger, heavier items such as case bundles)

Our expertise

Your matter will predominantly be looked after by a qualified, regulated solicitor who focuses exclusively on employment law and the majority of the work will be undertaken by them directly. From time to time, they may delegate certain aspects of the work, under their supervision, to a trainee solicitor. Click on the 'Meet the team' button on this page for more details about our employment law advisers.