Our experienced employment law professionals can help you work through a workplace dispute such as an unfair dismissal. Such situations can be stressful and you’ll find that our employment law team is committed to finding an affordable solution for you. Our team can be there, supporting you at each step to reduce any upset and feelings of isolation.

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Settlement agreements
  • Sexual & racial discrimination
  • Workplace bullying claims
  • Employment tribunals
  • Redundancy
  • Restrictive covenants

Other services include resolving disputes.

Hillyer McKeown, Service Level Guarantee

Our employment law service

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends on the stage at which your case is resolved. As a guide your case is likely to take:

  • 1 to 8 weeks – if a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation.
  • 6 to 9 months – if your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing.

These are estimates and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

  • Simple case: £0-£5,000 (excluding VAT).
  • Medium complexity case: £0-£10,000 (excluding VAT).
  • High complexity case: £0-£15,000 (excluding VAT).

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person, that is, claimants who do not have a professional representative such as a solicitor or barrister.
  • Making or defending a costs application (a party to a Tribunal claim can ask for its costs to be paid by another party if that party is deemed to have acted unreasonably in bringing or defending proceedings).
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties).
  • The number of witnesses and documents.
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer.
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £250 to £1,000 per day (excluding VAT) according to the level of qualification of the fee earner in attendance. Generally, we would allow 1-10 days depending on the complexity of your case.


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.

Counsel’s fee estimates are between £500 to £1,500 per day (includingpreparation and depending on the experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

Key stages

The fees set out above 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 subject to change).
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
  • Preparing a claim or response.
  • Reviewing and advising on a claim or response from other party.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss (when the claimant provides full details of the compensation that they believe the Tribunal should award).
  • 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 a 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 stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

Members of our employment law team

Justine Watkinson

Justine is a partner and the Head of the Employment Team. She qualified as a litigation lawyer in 1995, going to work for international law firm, Hill Dickinson. She moved to Hillyer McKeown in 1999 where she took on greater responsibility for employment matters. She has now focused exclusively on employment law for the last 15 years, providing advice to individuals and businesses. She has a particular interest in supporting businesses through a strategic re-organisation, change of employment terms, executive exits or TUPE. Her expertise has been recognised in the prestigious ‘Legal 500’ publication in recent years with her ability to provide ‘technically accurate advice that is solutions-driven and commercially sound’ a particular highlight.

Justine is a Director of the Deeside Business Forum and also an Accelerator Growth Programme coach, which provides fully-funded support for growing businesses in Wales. She has also worked as a sessional lecturer in employment law at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and has also taught Employment Law on the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law.

Angharad Williams

Angharad graduated from Aberystwyth University in 2015 with a degree in Law and is currently studying the Legal Practice Course and a Masters in Law, Business and Management at the University of Law in Christleton, Chester on a part-time basis.

Angharad joined the employment team at Hillyer McKeown in October 2015 as a Paralegal, and has over three years’ experience advising clients and supporting the rest of the team in servicing the needs of the firm’s clients on a variety of matters including day-to-day HR queries such as disciplinary and poor performance matters, drafting and advising on contracts of employment and staff handbooks, advising through processes and procedures such as changing the terms and conditions of staff and flexible working arrangements, and the pre-hearing preparation of Employment Tribunal matters.

Experienced employment law legal team

Contact us for a free, no obligation conversation

Call: 01244318131

Head of Department

Justine Watkinson - Hillyer McKeown

Justine Watkinson

Email Justine Watkinson

Mobile: 07961 075124

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What clients think about our service

“I engaged Hillyer McKeown when I was in the unfortunate position of being forced out of my employment by fairly underhand means.

Justine Watkinson and Angharad Williams took on my case, and after reviewing the background, they were able to confidently advise that I had cause to challenge the meager settlement offered to me by the company and push for a more substantial package. Negotiations were handled swiftly and expertly, against a backdrop of aggressive deadlines set by my employer, with Justine and Angharad putting in extra time to keep everything on track.

Their expert advice and negotiation skills resulted in me receiving a vastly superior settlement agreement and significantly improved terms. This has alleviated the stress I was experiencing, whilst also protecting my family’s interests as I seek alternative employment.

I cannot recommend Hillyer McKeown highly enough – specifically Justine and Angharad, for the calm and efficient manner in which they handled my case, and for the outstanding result they obtained on my behalf.” Employee

“The advice and immediate attention provided was outstanding. I would certainly have no issue in recommending your firm again. An excellent service was provided from beginning to end during a difficult time.” Employee