Barristers to give tribunal advice free

UNASSISTED appellants appearing before the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) will be offered free representation at preliminary hearings by specialist employment advocates.

A new scheme, designed by the recently-formed Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA), answers a call for assistance from EAT president Mr Justice Mummery.

ELBA has formed a panel of experienced advocates who will be on call to appear at preliminary hearings.

Joint organiser of the scheme barrister David Bean says it honours requests from the profession's leaders that lawyers should spend more of their time providing free advice to litigants.

“They won't gain financially,” says Bean, who made an appearance in an earlier pilot scheme, “but they will gain the satisfaction of having helped people who would otherwise have to fend for themselves”.