Lawpath Blog
  • Lawpath
  • Blog
  • 4 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer
4 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer

4 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer

Need to hire an unfair dismissal lawyer to get what you're entitled to? Read our guide on the questions you should ask before you hire.

29th January 2018
Reading Time: 3 minutes

You’ve been working hard for months, doing extra work and receiving money so you can live life. Suddenly, you find that you are no longer needed and are dismissed. Losing your livelihood is never easy, especially in situations where you feel that it was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. If this sounds like your situation, you have to act fast (within 21 days) to get an unfair dismissal lawyer.  There’s not much time, so here’s our quick guide so you can find the right unfair dismissal lawyer to lodge your claim. You can find unfair dismissal lawyers by browsing Lawpath’s lawyer directory.

1. Can I bring a claim?

In the emotion of the situation, it’s easy to think that any dismissal was clearly unfair. Sometimes the simple question, is also the most important. Be ready to discuss with your lawyer the whole situation including clearly answering any follow-up questions. Generally, your claim is based on:

  • Income;
  • Length of employment;
  • Type of employment;
  • Size of employer (small businesses have different rules);
  • Time of claim (has to be within 21 days);
  • Warnings provided; and
  • Fairness in reacting to reasons of dismissal.

If you can provide in-depth details here, you will be able to assess whether you can proceed with an unfair dismissal claim. This also allows you to think about whether an unfair dismissal claim is the right course of action. Instead, you may be able to file a discrimination, or general protection claim depending on the circumstances of your dismissal. Alternatively, you may not be able to file a claim because the chances of success are low, you cannot receive compensation or your job back.

2. What is your experience with unfair dismissals?

Unfair dismissals are a serious matter and employment law covers a wide range of fields. Put your claim in the hands of someone who is qualified and comfortable in dealing with your claim. You’d want someone who has experience in dealing with unfair dismissal claims, and who may have dealt with a similar matter with another client. Having a lawyer with good experience can give you better clarity on your chances of success, however that is balanced with the higher costs that would be charged. Choose a lawyer that will give you the best chances of succeeding.

If your matter doesn’t fall under unfair dismissals, ask for a referral to a lawyer who can help you moving forward.

3. What is your approach to this case?

Lawyers are all different in how they take cases. Some prefer to settle the matter during conciliation with the employer, while others prefer to go all out in the matter at the hearing. Options and chances of success regarding settlements, conciliation meetings and hearings should be discussed. You should understand the positives and negatives of proceeding with your claim, and be comfortable with what the lawyer is planning.

You may want a lawyer better at negotiating if you have no interest in attending a hearing, while a lawyer with more experience at hearings could be preferable if you don’t want to settle.

4. What are the legal costs?

You may certainly have a valid complaint with your employer. However, you also don’t want to be fighting a case that costs a lot more than it’s worth. Legal fees add up fast, so get a good grasp of how much they cost before you commit to doing anything.

There are two common methods of payment.

Billable hours

Billable hours are when the lawyer charges for every hour spent on your issue. You should try and get an idea of how many hours the lawyer expects to take. Keep in mind that even a short five minute conversation can add much more than that into your final charge.

Flat fee

A flat fee can provide a better idea of what you’re paying. The flat fee, however, may not cover all legal costs such as filing applications to the Fair Work Commission.

You can connect with an unfair dismissal lawyer using LawPath’s lawyer directory. You can also learn more about how lawyers charge clients by reading our legal guide on how much you should pay a lawyer.


It’s a terrible feeling to be dismissed for reasons that you believe were unfair. Dealing with those emotions while trying to file an unfair dismissal claim can be overwhelming. This guide gives you four questions that keep you on track to find the perfect lawyer to deal with your matter. You can also search LawPath’s lawyer directory for an unfair dismissal lawyer.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

Dhruv Saggar

Dhruv is a Legal Tech Intern working in the content team at Lawpath who is highly curious about how technology is changing the legal landscape.