Transparency Information

As Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority ("SRA"), we are required to publish information on the prices that we charge in relation to certain specified services under the SRA Transparency Rules. 


The provision of advice and representation to employers, in relation to defending claims brought by an employee before the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal.

Cost information

The range of costs of the service:

Simple case: £25,000 - £35,000 (excluding VAT)

Medium complexity case: £35,000 - £65,000 (excluding VAT)

High complexity case: £65,000 - £250,000 (excluding VAT)

Factors that could make a case more complex include:

  • the presence of complex preliminary issues, such as whether claims are out of time or brought against the right person
  • the presence of other claims that are linked to the dismissal, including discrimination or whistleblowing
  • the defence of claims that are brought by litigants in person
  • the number of witnesses and documents and the nature of the documents requested
  • the appointment of a barrister to appear in the case in the tribunal
  • the number of days of the hearing

Please be advised that the Employment Tribunal is a no-costs jurisdiction; this means that, even if you are successful in all your claims or defending all the claims, there are no costs awards made (save in unusual circumstances). Therefore, each party must bear its own costs regardless of the outcome.

The basis for our charges

Our fees are calculated mainly by reference to hourly rates but take into account the time demands of the engagement, its complexity, the skills and knowledge required, its importance to you and the seniority and experience of our personnel involved.

Hourly rates for our lawyers range from £330 for our most junior associates to £565 for our most senior partners, respectively, and hourly rates for our trainees range from £215 to £245. These rates are exclusive of any applicable VAT.

Experience and qualifications

Please visit the People section on our website to review the experience and qualifications of all the lawyers who carry out work within this area.


Counsel's fees are estimated to be between £5,000 to £35,000 for preparation and the first day of the hearing, and a daily rate for any additional day is estimated to be between £500 to £3000 per day (excluding VAT) (depending on experience of the advocate) for representing you at a Tribunal Hearing.

Photocopying costs for the bundle of documents are estimated to cost between £100 - £2000 (excluding VAT). Please be advised that the cost for preparing the bundle is usually covered by the Respondent or shared between the Respondent and the Claimant.

Key stages and timescales

The fees set out above cover the work in relation to the following key stages of a defence of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the merits and the likely outcome (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation, which is mandatory, to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing the defence
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing/Case Management Conference to consider the issues in the claim and to set the timetable to the Hearing
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or a cast list
  • Exchanging documents and reviewing documents, coupled with document requests for specific disclosure
  • Preparing a joint bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses and exchanging witness statements
  • Reviewing and advising on witness statements
  • Reviewing any Schedule of Loss
  • Preparing for and attending the full hearing, including instructing counsel

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes to bring such a matter to conclusion varies widely depending on the issues, the complexity and the tribunal where the matter is being heard, but the average is currently around 7 - 12 months. 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.