Each case is different and it is very difficult to give a precise figure for total costs at the outset. Even the most experienced lawyers can’t predict exactly how a case will unfold and how the other side will behave i.e. what and how much work will need to be done.

General rule in employment tribunal cases

The general rule is that each party in an employment tribunal case pays their own costs – regardless of who, ultimately, wins. This is in contrast to other types of courts where the loser usually pays the winner’s costs.

While it is technically possible for an employment tribunal to award costs in favour of one party, the circumstances in which this is done are very limited and often an award will not cover the entire amount spent.

As each case is different, it is very difficult to give a very precise figure for total costs at the outset of a case. It can be said with confidence however, that litigation is a very labour intensive business and is therefore expensive for those who wish to bring claims in the employment tribunal.

While issuing an employment tribunal claim can focus minds and may encourage the other party to put forward a settlement, individuals should always think carefully about their appetite and financial ability to take a case all the way to a full hearing.

No tribunal fees any more but, still other fees…

While it is no longer necessary to pay a fee in order to issue a claim in the employment tribunal, you will need to pay legal fees in respect of your solicitor’s advice, preparation for and attendance at any tribunal hearing.

Don’t forget that you may also have to pay charges in respect of other experts it may be necessary to instruct such as barristers and medical experts.

Settlement before a case is heard by a tribunal

Even if your case ultimately settles before it reaches an employment tribunal there will be fees in respect of settlement advice and negotiation to be paid for.

Further information

For more detail about the charges for bringing an employment tribunal case, see our article: how much will an employment tribunal cost me?

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Updates: For employers: Tribunals |

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