Finding the money to pay for your employment tribunal case



If you choose not to represent yourself in the Employment Tribunal, you will have to find the money to pay a  representative to handle your case. DO NOT discount doing your case yourself. YOU CAN do your case yourself, which is what Employee Rescue is all about. We give you all the resources and support you need to take your own case through to the employment tribunal . Should you decide to appoint a lawyer, you can explore paying for your tribunal case in the following ways;

No Win No Fee Agreements

No win, no fee agreements are provided by solicitors firms, claims assessors and claims management companies. They are usually combined with “After the Event” (ATE) insurance. There are two types of no win, no fee agreements, these are;

  1. Conditional Fee Agreements
  2. Damages Based Agreements

Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA’s)

CFAs are a type of no win, no fee agreement which you can use to fund your case. Here, the lawyer or claims management company/assessor agrees not to take a fee if your claim fails. They are usually combined with ATE Insurance (see legal insurance below). If your claim is successful, the lawyer will charge an uplift (known as a success fee) in addition to his base costs. Until April 2013, a person who won their case would have the success fee and their ordinary legal costs paid by the losing party.  Since 1 April 2013, this has changed. The success fee is no longer paid by the losing side. This means that if you sign a no win no fee agreement and you win, you will pay the lawyer or claims management firm out of your winnings. The success fee is capped at 25% of damages. Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 you have 14 days to cancel a conditional fee agreement that you have entered into.


Damages Based Agreements (DBA’s)

DBA’s are another type of conditional fee agreement which you can use to fund your case. A DBA would only apply to a lawyer, and not to a claims management firm. Here, your lawyer is not paid if the case is lost, but they can take a percentage of damages if you win. Under the Damages Based Agreements Regulations 2013. The maximum payment that a lawyer can get from your damages is capped at 25% in personal injury claims. If you are successful you will be able to claim back your costs from your employer but you will have to pay any shortfall in your lawyer’s costs and the DBA fee from your damages.


Legal Insurance

If you lose your case against your employer you will have to pay your employer’s legal costs as well as your own. You can take out legal insurance to cover certain legal costs. There are two types of legal expenses insurance.

  1. Before the event (BTE) insurance, and
  2. After the event (ATE) insurance

BTE Insurance

BTE insurance is what you have as part of your home or car insurance so check your policy. BTE insurance insures against the risk of potential future legal costs and liabilities; it is taken out before an actionable event has occurred. When taken out, BTE insurance is often purchased as an add-on to existing insurance policies (usually motor or home insurance) although it is available as a stand-alone product.


ATE Insurance

ATE insurance is designed to pay things like costs to your employer in case you lose, disbursements (the claims management companies or lawyer’s out of pocket expenses). It is taken out after the actionable event has occurred. ATE insurers undertake to pay your employers costs in case you lose the case. If you win your claim, the ATE Insurance will not be used.  Claims managements companies will usually set you up with a loan for the cost of the insurance.

For ATE insurance taken out before 1 April 2013, the insurance premium would be paid by the employer. After 1st April 2013, ATE insurance can only be used to claim back the cost of clinical negligence expert reports.


Your Trade Union

Trade unions usually provide employment tribunal support and representation to their members. Make sure that your membership subscriptions are up to date and check with your union that you will be represented in your claim. Most unions will not represent you for matters that happened before you were a member.


Legal Aid

There is no legal aid for employment tribunal cases. You may be entitled to fee remission if you are on a low income.


Resources available

Template Letter Before Claim

How to Prepare a Schedule of Loss for the Employment Tribunal

Schedule of Loss Spreadsheet for unfair dismissal

Schedule of loss spreadsheet – Discrimination

ET1: Breach of Contract

ET1: Non-Payment of Holiday Pay on Termination

ET1: Non-Payment of Holiday Pay whilst still employed

ET1: Refusal to permit taking of Annual Leave


Disciplinary action and capability

Discrimination at work

Surviving a workplace suspension

How to fight dismissal on Probation






Best of the web

Help with legal costs – free or affordable help

The Financial Ombudsman – Legal Expenses Insurance

Finding an adviser and paying for your case

Problems at work – Law society

Law Society: Model Conditional Fee Agreement

Law Society: Guidance on Conditional Fee Agreements

Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013

Damages Based Agreements Order 2013




This resource is published by Employee Rescue Limited. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained herein is provided for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. Employee Rescue accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this publication.

Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this publication. You can send an e-mail to for such specialist advice if required.

Case Study

It was reported by BBC Producer Oisin Tymons  lawyers on 16th February 2016 that  Jeremy Clarkson had apologised and settled the claim against him for race discrimination and personal injury.  Oisin Tymon launched the case against the TV presenter last year after an incident involving verbal abuse and Tymon ending up with a bloody lip. In his apology, released by Tymon’s lawyers Slater and Gordon, Clarkson said: “I would like to say sorry, once again, to Oisin Tymon for the incident and its regrettable aftermath. “I want to reiterate that none of this was in any way his fault. “I... Read More
Jeremy Clarkson and race discrimination
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