Pricing / Fees

Last updated 1 Feb, 2024.

The new SRA Price Transparency Rules require us to provide costs information in relation to the advice we provide on unfair or wrongful dismissal claims and on debt recovery proceedings.

Unfair or wrongful dismissal claims

We are required to provide costs information in relation to representing and advising employees and employers when bringing and defending claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal.

The below does not amount to legal advice in relation to an employment tribunal claim and should serve as a guide only. We are obliged to provide you with estimated price information, including regarding likely third-party costs, such as barristers’ fees. As changes to these are outside of our control, we are not responsible for any errors in this information, which we are providing to you based on our experience and as a guide only.

Who will work on your case

Your matter will be dealt with by one of the solicitors in our employment team and will, in any event, be supervised by Yulia Barnes, our Managing Partner. Her experience and qualifications are available here. Once we know who will be handling your case for you, we will introduce you to them and provide you with full details of their background and qualifications.

Our charges

Our overall fees vary depending upon how complex your case is and what you would like us to do. For a free quote specifically tailored to your circumstances, please email us at or give us a call at +44 (0) 208 092 2700. We would be more than happy to discuss your case.

However, to give you an idea of how we charge, however, and to comply the SRA rules, we have set out below details of our typical hourly rates and fees for unfair and wrongful dismissal claims.

Our charges are made up of:

  • our fees for the legal work we undertake; and
  • ‘disbursements’ – disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to other people, such as fees for a barrister’s opinion or help at Court. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Where VAT is referred to below, please note that this will be charged at the applicable rate, which is currently 20%.

Our fees

Our fees will be (a) either agreed with you as a fixed sum at the start of your case or (b) based on how much time it takes to deal with your case. We do not usually use conditional fee or damages-based arrangements. Our hourly rates in the employment team range from £200 plus VAT to £350 plus VAT for one of our solicitors.

To give a very general idea of how much our fees (excluding ‘disbursements’ – see below) tend to be where an employee or employer brings a claim related to unfair or wrongful dismissal, the ranges tend to be:

  • Simple cases: £7,500-£15,500 (excluding VAT);
  • Medium complexity cases: £12,000-£20,000 (excluding VAT);
  • High complexity cases: £20,000-£60,000 (excluding VAT).

As can be seen from the above, the time spent on a case and our costs can vary significantly depending on how complex a case is. Below are some, but not all, factors that may make a case either standard or more complex (and so incur more time):

Scroll right
Simpler (standard) cases typically include:
More complex cases typically include:
  • Situations where an employee settlement agreement is reached;
  • A hearing lasting for two days in an employment tribunal plus one preliminary hearing in the employment tribunal of two hours to determine a preliminary issue (such as whether the case has been brought out of time);
  • Both parties being legally represented;
  • Up to three witnesses in total plus the Claimant (ie the person bringing the claim);
  • Short witness statement for each witness;
  • No more than 200-350 pages of documents.
  • It is necessary to attend a long hearing;
  • It is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim;
  • It is necessary to defend claims that are brought by litigants in person;
  • It is necessary to make or defend a costs application;
  • There are complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
  • The number of witnesses and documents is high;
  • It is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer;
  • There are allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

There will be an additional charge for attending the employment tribunal hearing of between £750 and £1,500 plus VAT per day. Charges for barristers and disbursements are in addition to our fees (see below).

Please get in touch if you are not sure what sort of case yours is, so that we can guide you further.


You will need to pay for ‘disbursements’ in addition to our fees as described above. In an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim, the most common disbursements are for barrister’s fees. We appoint an external barrister to present your case at the final tribunal hearings if your case is not settled before the hearings (cases are indeed very often settled). Barrister’s fees tend to be in the region of £2,500 to £8,000 plus VAT depending on the number of days the hearing is going to take. The fees also vary due to barristers’ wide-ranging expertise and practices. We will, however, guide you on this as and when external costs need to be incurred.

Other costs to consider

Normally you do not have to pay your opponent’s costs in an employment claim but we will guide you further if we feel that you are at risk of this at any stage.

Key stages of your claim

The examples of typical costs above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal case:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on your prospects of success in the claim and the likely compensation, although this is likely to be revisited throughout the case and subject to change.
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation with ACAS where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
  • Preparing your claim or response.
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from the other party.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating a 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 bundles of documents for the final hearing.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation and instructions to the barrister (if this is not being done in-house by us) for the final hearing.

The stages set out above are an indication only and if some of the stages are not required, the fee may be reduced. Some clients may wish to attempt to handle some parts of a very straight-forward matter themselves and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also reduce the cost if your case is one where we’re comfortable that this is a sensible approach to take.

It would not normally be necessary to undertake other work or incur other costs other than those described above. However, we would be very happy to provide you with a more tailored quote for all stages of your particular case once we know about your specific circumstances.

How long will my case take?

The time it takes from your initial instructions to the end of your case depends largely on the stage at which it is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim discussions, your case is likely to take 3 – 4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 18 – 36 weeks. This is just an illustration and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information from you and as the case progresses.

Next steps

If you would like to receive a tailored quote or find out more about how we can help, please get in touch. Although we cannot provide specific advice before you become our client, we will do our best to give you a reasonable assessment and advice on whether you would benefit from additional legal advice.

Debt recovery

Barnes Law has extensive experience in helping its clients to recover unpaid debts. Below we outline our cost and service information in relation to recovering business to business debts that are not disputed. This arises, for example, where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed, and enforcement action is not needed.

Our fees

Our fees for business debt recovery are charged at our hourly rates. They are not based on the size of the debt, but rather on the complexity of your particular situation and the amount of time we spend on your matter. Our hourly rates, as they currently are, range between £175 plus VAT and £350 plus VAT. Where VAT is referred to, please note that this will be charged at the applicable rate in the UK, which is currently 20%.

If you wish to proceed with a claim, please 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 fees include:

  • taking your instructions and reviewing documentation;
  • undertaking appropriate searches;
  • sending a letter before action (which precedes the issuing of formal proceedings)
  • receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing a formal claim;
  • where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default;
  • when Judgement in default is received, write 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 related to undisputed debts usually take 1-2 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. If the debt is disputed, matters take significantly longer and may take, on average, 4 months.

All additional work is charged at our hourly rate. Furthermore, if you require us to monitor instalments, negotiate settlements or provide documents in support of the claim, these will also be calculated in line with our prevailing hourly charging rates.

If the debt is disputed (ie, you and the debtor cannot agree on the amount), we will evaluate our fees based on our hourly rates if extensive additional work is required. In any event, we will inform you and obtain your consent before proceeding with your matter.

Typical costs

As mentioned above, the costs (and length of time it will take) will depend upon how complex the debt claim is. Although we can only give exact prices when we provide you with a quote, the following ranges may serve as guidance only.

Scroll right
Simple debt recovery
Complex debt recovery
Typical cost
  • £3,500 – £12,500 plus VAT and disbursements (eg, court fees, counsel’s fees, courier fees)
  • £10,500 – £25,000 plus VAT and disbursements (eg, court fees, counsel’s fees, courier fees)
Factors that may lead to higher or lower fees
  • Documents are all in order and organised
  • Very limited disclosure required
  • Very limited witness evidence required
  • No expert evidence needed
  • Half a day’s hearing with a junior barrister
  • Documents are incomplete, not properly executed and/or disorganised
  • Further advice in relation to a potential counterclaim is needed
  • Expert evidence is necessary
  • Disclosure is needed
  • Conferences with Counsel are needed
  • Multiple witness statements are sought
  • The debtor is insolvent
  • Defendant debtor acts as a litigant in person
  • Defendant debtor is an individual