FRU does not accept cases directly from members of the public. All our cases are referred to us by referral agencies. FRU volunteers represent clients in various tribunals within the Greater London and Nottingham areas. FRU does not represent in the County Courts. If you wish to refer cases to FRU, you must become one of our referral agencies. To do so, please fill in and return the application form.
Referral agencies are required to pay an annual subscription fee. Please note that a separate subscription is payable for each address that you register with us. This subscription enables you to make unlimited referrals to us from that address. At present the fees is £40 per annum.
When referring a case to FRU you should use our referral form and follow the guidance notes provided. A shorter one page version is also available here for use on noticeboards, together with a flow chart showing how referrals to FRU operate, Can I Refer a Case to FRU?.
We ask that all organisations referring cases ensure that the clients they send to us comply with our charitable objectives. We currently receive about 2000 cases a year. We do not accept referrals where clients are earning over £50,000 per annum unless there is evidence to suggest they cannot afford legal representation. As FRU is primarily an advocacy service, we normally only provide representation once a case has been allocated a hearing date by a tribunal.
Rather than cases being allocated to volunteers automatically, the volunteers exercise their own discretion and decide whether they are available to take a case out or not. At times, we are referred more cases than we have volunteers to deal with them. FRU's staff have no control over which cases are taken by representatives. Until a case is taken out by a representative, it remains the responsibility of the referral agency.
FRU will always endeavour to represent clients in as many of the cases referred to us as possible. We represent some 60% of the cases referred to us annually. This representation rate varies during the year, as it is dependent on the availability of our volunteers and the nature and complexity of the cases referred to us.
FRU's London office is open from 9.00 am - 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday and from 9.00 am - 8.30 pm on Tuesday. The office is staffed by an administrator, an office manager, two legal officers, two assistant legal officers and a chief executive. The Nottingham office is open by appointment.
At present we are unable to represent clients at hearings taking place at the weekend.