Whether you are an employer or employee, taking a case to the employment tribunal can be really stressful, drawn out and not to mention expensive.
That’s why, if you have no experience of Tribunals, you need to make sure you get the representation that’s right for you and your case.
And if you haven’t been to a tribunal at all, there’s no reason why you should know whether you need a solicitor, a barrister – or both.
Click here to read more about how our Employment Solicitors can help you
Here are your 3 basic options:
Your Employment Tribunal Claim – Using a Solicitor and a Barrister – the most common choice
Traditionally, the first person that you contact is an employment Solicitor. They deal with many of the initial parts of the claim.
You can speak to them about getting in touch with a Barrister who will represent you at the Tribunal. This can sometimes be a good setup, as you have two people working on your case. It also means that each person can concentrate on their specialities.
Whilst the Solicitor deals negotiation and responds to requests for the case to be postponed, the Barrister can concentrate on how he or she will represent you on the day.
The only down side to this is that it can be very costly to employ both a Solicitor and a Barrister.
In addition, you may not meet your barrister until the day of the hearing itself.
Your Employment Tribunal Claim – Just using a Solicitor
An increasing number of employment Solicitors will happily represent you at the Tribunal. Since they have solely dealt with the case, they tend to have an in-depth knowledge of it, which can help you at the Tribunal hearing. As they don’t have another legal professional to help them, this works out cheaper for you. The problem is that some Solicitors have very limited experience in representing their clients in Court or at advocacy in an Employment Tribunal compensation case.
Your Employment Tribunal Claim – Just using a Barrister
There are notable limits on the roles that a Barrister can perform in the run-up to your case appearing at an Employment Tribunal. For example, prior to the hearing they generally cannot negotiate on your behalf.
This may be a good option if you feel that you can handle all of the correspondence yourself, fully prepare your case and brief your barrister i.e. provide him with all the information he’s going to need to present your case as well as possible. But most people will really struggle with this – and may not even have the time available. Cases at Employment Tribunals are fairly complex, and will need to be able to handle everything that the Barrister cannot.
Need help negotiating?
If you want someone to handle negotiations, you’re going to be best off instructing a Solicitor.
A Barrister can advise on making/accepting offers and draft letters that you can send out yourself, but they can’t speak to your employer’s solicitor, so this can be a very significant constraint.
So, on balance, the best option is to employ just a solicitor, or if the matter is particularly complex or both a Barrister and a Solicitor, though for some this may not be possible due to financial constraints. Weigh up the pros and cons of each option to choose the one that is likely to get you the best outcome.
Worried about an Employment Tribunal hearing? Call our expert team on Salisbury (01722) 422300 or FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached.
Need Expert Employment Law Advice ? Our Employment Solicitors can help
Whether you are an employer or employee, if you are worried about some aspect of employment law, or you are considering entering into a settlement agreement, let us put your mind at rest. Our employment law team always offer free initial legal advice on the phone – with no strings attached
- Call our team on Salisbury (01722) 422300, or FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 OR
Complete the email enquiry form below.