Latest News

  • Thank you to our Virgin London Marathon Runners 2014
    Thu, 01/30/2014 - 12:05

    A big thank you to our 5 marathon runners who together raised over £5,500 for FRU.

    Running 26.2 miles in the blistering heat is no mean feat – walking half that distance is a big deal in FRU’s book – so we are deeply impressed by our runners’ achievement.   And while it’s not about the winning, but the taking part, particular congratulations are due to Ben Cooper who broke the 4 hour mark and completed the race in a very speedy 3 hours and 47 minutes (and a few seconds).  

    A big thank you also, to all who supported and encouraged our runners.  All donations meant a great deal to the runners, and to us.

    Sean Jones QC

    First Up: Sean Jones QC of 11KBW (Completed in 4hr 58min 52sec)

    A trustee of FRU, this is Sean’s 10th Marathon, and in his own words “What has got me out onto the streets again is FRU. At a time when access to representation and, therefore, access to justice is getting harder, the Unit helps those who most need it whilst helping to train the professional advocates of the future.”

    Second Up: Adam Ohringer of Cloisters Chambers (Completed in 4hr 31min 28sec)

    In the the words of Michael Reed “Adam is an ex-FRU volunteer, current barrister and all around good egg.” Adam says that he is running for FRU because “If FRU wasn't there, countless of individuals would be going to court on their own without advice, representation or even some help to carry the files.  Think of that as the legal equivalent of removing your own appendix.  It can be done but.....”


    Third Up: Michael Reed of FRU (Completed in 5hr 21 min 45sec)

    FRU’s trusted Employment law Principal Legal Officer, this will be Michael’s 5th or 6th or possibly 7th marathon for FRU...


    Fourth Up: Elizabeth Forrester of Birnberg Peirce & Partners (Completed in 4hr 45min 27sec)

    According to Elizabeth: "I worked at FRU for a year as assistant legal officer from 20011-2012 and volunteered before and since then. While I was there I was talked into doing the marathon by a trusted principal legal officer (employment) who will remain nameless and it was so much fun that I did it again last year. This year will make it a hatrick- and any encouragement in the form of donations or cheering are very welcome."

    Please support them with your words of encouragement and any donation you can give!

    Last Up: Ben Cooper of Old Square Chambers (Completed in 3hr 47min 45sec) 

  • Great Legal Bake 2014
    Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:24


    ON 28th FEBRUARY 2014

    Please consider baking a cake!!
    Or at least popping in to buy a slice.
    All funds raised go to FRU
    (If you would like more information please email

  • Christmas Donation from Keating Chambers!
    Sat, 11/30/2013 - 14:52

    Keating Chambers has once again donated £1000 to FRU in place of sending out paper Christmas Cards. This kind donation is an example of innovative giving which embodies the spirit of Christmas. 

    George Miller, Chair of FRU, said: "FRU is extremely grateful to Keating Chambers for their generous donation. Unrestricted funds are vital to allow FRU to continue to meet its charitable objectives. The continued support of the legal profession allows us to provide pro bono representation to hundreds of clients every year."

    Paul Darling QC, Head of Keating Chambers, said: “We are very happy to be able to continue our support of FRU and the fantastic work they do”.

    By donating £1000 to FRU, chambers such as Keating Chambers, help ensure the charity can continue to support and train its volunteers to provide quality representation to their clients. 

  • The Solicitor General, Oliver Heald QC MP, remembers his time at FRU.
    Wed, 11/06/2013 - 15:02

    I was a member of FRU in 1977 and 1978. In those days it had an office on the First Floor of Middle Temple Lane and was a fairly small group of friends committed to helping people in need of legal advice and representation in tribunals.Oliver Heald MP QC

    We were lucky to have strong support from Bar Council representative John Griffiths QC and our excellent Chairman Rick Clayton, now Richard Clayton QC, the present UK representative on the Venice Commission.

    It had started a few years earlier in 1972 and when I joined a part-time administrator had been there a short while. Janet Beech was enthusiastic and good in a crisis. Later in my time she was replaced by Sue Watkins, who was also very important to FRU’s development.

    The organisation had always been run by a small committee and there was great idealism and a strong feeling that it should retain its independent ethos. The weekly committee round-ups in the Three Tuns pub on Chancery Lane added to the sense of camaraderie, although sadly the pub is long-gone.

    As well as student and pupil barristers, we had graduate students from the LSE and that’s how I met my wife Christine. She had a background in social policy and would take on cases in the Supplementary Benefit Appeal Tribunal. We got to know each other at the weekly meetings in the Three Tuns, where I was often ribbed by the others for my Conservative views and my diary with a picture of Mrs Thatcher. Christine took pity on me and a FRU romance led to a long and happy marriage.

    Original FRU members such as Roger Burbidge continued to take an interest and on the Committee I remember Jan Luba (who did training), Sue Gorman and Henry Blaxland. Other active members were Richard Drabble, Robert Latham and Claer Lloyd-Jones. Whilst many members went on to be eminent lawyers, Sue Gorman married Steve Dimond and moved to France and I believe Tania Ky went on to be a successful dancer. Many of my generation were also very sad that Andy Bantoft, who was an excellent member of the Committee, died tragically in South America.

    In the 1970s, there were many more applications for help than we could manage. FRU did a great deal to help those in need. It still does. When I promote Pro Bono, I always refer to the important forty-year FRU legacy.

    Oliver Heald, QC, MP is a barrister and Conservative politician. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Hertfordshire and has been Solicitor-General since 2012.

  • FRU's Walkers Raise £1600!
    Wed, 10/23/2013 - 10:33

    On the 5th and 6th October - a group of FRU volunteers joined the London Legal Support Trust's annual 'Walk the Thames' to raise money for FRU's new computers.

    The 2013 Walk the Thames took place in unusual warmth and sunshine and was led by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave who ran the whole 40 miles!

    Sixteen FRU volunteers walked the 40 mile journey along the Thames, pausing only for pictures and food breaks.

    FRU would like to give a big thank you to all those involved and all those who donated - we raised an amazing £1600 from the weekend!

    FRU Walkers: George Miller, Madeline Stanley, Cathy Rogan, Jumoke Adejimola, Fadeia Hossian, Sara Wyeth, Nick Bano, Nishma Jethwa, David Tisdall, Rebecca Bax, Martin Nelson, Konika Dhar, James Quelch, Loretta Lok, Lauren Graham and Ross Beaton.