Pro Bono Committee
ELA has long recognised the importance of pro bono work in the employment law arena and has played a significant role in developing pro bono services in the field. The ELA Pro Bono Committee aims to encourage ELA members to get involved in pro bono initiatives and to offer access to a wide variety of pro bono work. Below is a summary of the current pro bono opportunities available to ELA members.
The Pro Bono Committee works closely with the Free Representation Unit (“FRU”), the Bar Pro Bono Unit (“BPBU”) and LawWorks on many of these projects.
100 Days Project: advice and representation to claimants
Individuals can provide pro bono advice and/or representation through the ELA “100 Days Project”. ELA members have provided more than 300 days of pro bono assistance via this project since it launched in 2010. We encourage all ELA members to get involved: the cases are varied and interesting, and volunteers of all levels of experience are much in demand. This year twenty-four law firms and chambers have also pledged to provide pro bono assistance through the ELA “One Case Project”.
If you are a solicitor and would like to volunteer, please do make use of our barrister mentoring scheme. A barrister from 11KBW, Matrix or Littleton will be on hand to offer advice and tips, particularly on how to prepare for a tribunal hearing.
We all know that pro bono work is a great way of giving something back to the community. It is particularly important in employment law cases, which often raise issues of great importance for individuals who cannot gain access to advice or representation and where legal aid is not available. The introduction of employment tribunal fees makes it all the more important that individuals receive sound and practical advice on the merits and potential value of their claim.
ELIPS: assistance to unrepresented litigants in Tribunal
The ELA Pro Bono Committee has set up the Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme (ELIPS) to assist unrepresented litigants in Tribunal. It is similar to other schemes already successfully operated in the High Court and family court. The ELIPS scheme has the support of the Judges at the Employment Tribunals, and is being run in collaboration with the Bar Pro Bono Unit, LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) and the Free Representation Unit. Find out more below.
Pro bono assistance for NGOs and social enterprises
ELA is also Referral Partner for TrustLaw, the members-only service of the Thomson Reuters Foundation which offers lawyer and pro bono managers an easy way to connect with non-profits and social entrepreneurs seeking free legal help around the world.TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation's global pro bono marketplace. It is a free service which connects lawyers in more than 170 countries with NGOs and social enterprises that require pro bono legal assistance. Each week, we list TrustLaw’s employment pro bono opportunities around the world, along with our existing claimant pro bono opportunities under the 100 Days Project. Follow the link for further information.
ELA members are also invited to assist with BPP University’s Employment Law Telephone Advice Line (ELTAL). Through the ELTAL scheme, lawyers give free employment law advice over the telephone to members of the public.
Pro Bono Committee
Chair: Ruth Gamble, BDBF LLP
Bhavika Badola, Bolt Burdon
Caroline Baker, GQ Employment Law
Talia Barsam, Devereux Chambers
Phillip Chivers, Osborne Clarke
Ben Collins QC, Old Square Chambers
Sharon Corbett, Southwark Council
Tom Croxford, Blackstone Chambers
Paul Daniels, Slater and Gordon (UK) LLP
Cyril Dennemont, Fletcher Day LLP
Emma Delap, Lewis Silkin LLP
Natasha Joffe, Outer Temple Chambers
Sean Jones QC, 11KBW
Edward Kemp, Littleton Chambers
Rolleen McDonnell, Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP
Jennifer McGrandle, Dechert LLP
Sophie Roberts, Publicis Groupe
Polly Rodway, BDBF LLP
Ian Winrow, Bangor Law School