How to find representation to help with your employment problem

Explains where and how you might be able to find free representation to help with your case for the employment tribunal.

Free Representation Unit

If you need representation at an employment tribunal, you may be eligible for help from the Free Representation Unit. They can only help if your hearing is being heard in London, the South East of England or Nottingham and if you are referred to them by another agency. Check their website for more details on who can refer to them. 


Advocate  (formerly named The Bar Pro Bono Unit) may be able to help find you a barrister who can provide you with free advice or representation at a tribunal hearing (or at court) anywhere in England and Wales. They can help as long as you are not eligible for legal aid and don't have enough money to pay for legal help. 

There are two ways to get help: you can be referred by an advice agency (such as a CAB or Law Centre), an MP or practising lawyer, or you can apply directly online using their form and uploading your documents with it. You need to send a completed application form at least three weeks before the hearing or deadline for the piece of work you want help with.

The provide help for one piece of work at a time, for example, you could be approved for some free legal advice, and then maybe some free representation depending on the outcome of the advice. Find out more about how it works and find the online form.

Once you have submitted your application, it is assessed by the casework team to make sure there is enough information about your case for a reviewer to decide if you are eligible for free help. The team may ask you for more documents or information if the form is not complete. Once the casework team is satisfied that they have enough information, your application will be sent to a senior reviewer to decide if your case fits the financial and legal merits. If the reviewer decides you are eligible and the work will take three days or less, the Advocate team will start looking for a barrister to help you. Because they rely on volunteers, they cannot guarantee to find someone, but they will do their best. If they can't find someone, they will let you know before your hearing.

Advocate finds barristers to help you with a particular task in your case. They cannot find someone to take a whole case for free. So if your application is successful, you will receive help for that specific task. After that, if you need further help you can apply again, providing at least three weeks' notice. 

November 2023
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