Latest News

  • FRU wins when it loses with 5RB chambers
    Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:40

    5RB chambers recently hosted its 13th annual charity quiz, virtually, to raise funds for Advocate and the Free Representation Unit (FRU). This is now the longest running chambers charity quiz night.
    Teams from many leading solicitors firms and media organisations competed over five rounds of questions, with the quiz compered once again by 5RB‘s Adam Speker QC.
    The money raised will be matched by 5RB and shared with Advocate and FRU. The top five teams were from 5RB itself (!), The Guardian, Brett Wilson, Hiscox and Carter Ruck. Once again the FRU team came last, winning the golden shredder.
    FRU Chief Executive, David Abbott, said: "we want to thank everyone at 5RB and all the teams who entered the quiz for raising funds for ourselves and Advocate. FRU relies on the support of the legal sector to maintain our service and 5RB is a long-term ally of pro bono".

  • Michael Rubenstein conference charitable beneficiaries
    Mon, 06/22/2020 - 09:21

    An important employment legal conference has appointed FRU as it's charitable beneficiary for 2020.

    We are delighted that Michael Rubenstein conferences has nominated FRU to receive charitable donations generated from their '22 QCs on the Hot Employment Law Issues 2020 – 21' conference to be held in October 2020.

    FRU Chief Executive David Abbott said "this conference is one of the key events in the employment law year and we are grateful that Michael Rubenstein conferences have invited FRU to be the charitable beneficiary this year. In these difficult times it is hugely helpful to receive this support from the employment law world.

    Further details about the conference can be found by following this link.


  • 10 June: Update on FRU response to the Coronavirus
    Wed, 06/10/2020 - 16:23

    Referring cases

    • We are accepting 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 is 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


    • Current volunteers - we are working with a small number of volunteers on current cases. Please don't contact the office at the moment to ask about taking on a case, we will be in touch when we are ready to extend the number of cases that we can manage.
    • If you are a potential FRU volunteer, we will be running remote training days in July. For further information please register your interest at this link and you will be sent further details once we are able to open bookings.
    • There will be a delay in when new volunteers will be able to take on FRU cases because the tribunals are not currently operating as normal. We will build up our caseload as the situation develops.

    We will keep the situation under review and post further updates on this news page and on our social media pages (@FreeRepUnit and

  • 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".

  • 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