Latest News

  • Barristers act pro bono for FRU in Mesothelioma compensation scheme case
    Tue, 06/02/2020 - 16:37

    In a decision delivered on 1 June the Upper Tribunal considered a Mesothelioma compensation scheme at appellate level for the first time. Charles Bagot QC of Hardwicke Chambers and Leon Glenister of Landmark Chambers acted pro bono to represent FRU's client. Although the appeal was not successful, the decision established a number of key legal points about the scheme - the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS) - and the way that tribunals should approach decision making.

    The key legal points decided concerned eligibility for the scheme, the circumstances relevant to the date that the tribunal must base it decision on and interpretation of words that appear in different statutes.

    FRU Chief Executive David Abbott said " we are hugely grateful to Charles Bagot QC and Leon Glenister for acting for our client pro bono in this case. FRU is always keen to test the law to establish our client's rights. It was invaluable to have such experienced and able advocates as Charles and Leon to advance the case. We are grateful to the barristers who work with FRU to promote access to justice for those without means. Although this appeal was not successful the case has established key principles about how this compensation scheme should operate".

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5ea9aef5d3bf7f652ad79d18/CM_1365_2018.pdf

  • New telephone enquiry opening hours
    Mon, 05/18/2020 - 14:54

    Due to the different way that we are currently working we have changed our telephone enquiry opening hours.

    We are now answering the telephone on our main enquiry number of 020 7611 9555 between 2.00 to 5.00 every weekday. We don't answer the telephone on bank holidays.

    If you need to contact us please call during these times or you can email us at admin@thefru.org.uk.

     

  • 21 April: Update on FRU response to the Coronavirus
    Tue, 04/21/2020 - 15:05
    • We have reviewed the situation and we are now able to start taking on new employment and social security tribunal cases in line with our usual criteria.
    • FRU is operating remotely; we are supervising volunteers by telephone and email, and this is more time consuming and resource intensive. Therefore our capacity will be lower and we want to ensure that the cases and clients we take on will be suitable for this type of environment. If you are considering making a referral please bear in mind that clients will need to be communicated with remotely.
    • All case referrals must be made electronically because we cannot guarantee that our post can be monitored on a regular basis.
    • If you are a potential client of the employment self-referral scheme please check the appropriate page on this website to make sure that your case qualifies and then call us on 020 7611 9555 or email admin@thefru.org.uk.
    • If you are a current FRU volunteer you will receive an update by email.
    • If you are a potential FRU volunteer, please note that training days will not run as normal and there will be a delay in when new volunteers will be able to take on FRU cases. For updates please sign up to receive the training day newsletter via this link http://www.thefru.org.uk/volunteers/attending-the-training-days.
    • We will keep the situation under review and post further updates on this news page and on our social media pages (@FreeRepUnit and https://www.linkedin.com/in/free-representation-unit-fru-0b569352/).
  • 26 March: Update on FRU response to the Coronavirus
    Thu, 03/26/2020 - 17:52

    We have updated our response to the virus. We will continue to represent all clients whose case we had already agreed to take on but we will extend our pause on signing out new cases for a further 2 weeks.

    This means that we can accept case referrals if the hearing has been listed after 23 April 2020, with the standard proviso that we can’t guarantee to represent every case that is referred to us. 

    We have extended the pause on new cases because the position in relation to how tribunal hearings will proceed is still unclear. After this further 2 week pause we expect to be in a better position to make a more substantive response to the situation.

    Further to the government guidance as of 23 March 2020 as to the closure of all non-essential premises (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874732/230320_-_Revised_guidance_note_-_finalVF.pdf), most of our staff will be supporting our clients from home, and only visit the office on occasion for essential purposes.

    As such, whether you are a FRU volunteer, from a referral agency, an existing client, or interested in having your case referred to FRU, we would request that you please no longer send us any communications via post, and contact us instead on admin@thefru.org.uk or on 020 7611 9555. Please do not try to contact us by post, because we cannot guarantee that our post can be monitored on a regular basis.

    Please check back here for further updates.

  • Update on FRU's response to Coronavirus
    Tue, 03/17/2020 - 17:40

    Our position has changed since our last update. Our staff are mainly working at home and we are supporting our volunteers remotely as far as possible. Our staff will only be in the FRU office if required for a specific reason, for example to assist a volunteer with case preparation or to collect the post.

    • If you are a FRU volunteer with an existing case and need to speak to us please contact the legal officer who has been supporting you or contact us on admin@thefru.org.uk. Please let us know in advance if you believe that you need to come into the office.
    • If you are a volunteer who doesn't have a current case we aren't signing out new cases until at least 26 March. We will review the position before that date and write to all volunteers to update them. In the meantime please don't call at the office.
    • If you are from a referral agency and need to speak to us please use the webform or call on 020 7611 9555. We are currently only accepting referrals for cases listed after 10 April 2020.
    • If you are an existing client then keep in contact with your representative and you can contact us on admin@thefru.org.uk or on 020 7611 9555.
    • If you would like your case to be referred to FRU please read our 'Need Help' page and please note that we can't represent you if your hearing is being held before 10 April 2020.

    Please check back here for further updates.