I am based about 35 minutes away from the Bristol Employment Tribunal. That being the case I would hope that this would be the most common place for me to work and I could think of myself as a Bristol employment lawyer.
But the reality is probably going to be different. I found that when I was in chambers in london I rarely went to the nearest tribunals or courts. There is no rhyme or reason to how these things work out.
Anyway the location is not that important to me really. I am used to travelling far and wide to represent clients and I see no reason why that will or should change. So to make it abundantly clear I will work anywhere in the country if the ‘job’ is the right one.
Maybe one day I will be a Bristol employment lawyer but not this year.
The latest statistics for Employment Tribunal awards have just been published.
They cover the period from 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011.
There was a small fall in the number of claims overall but the number of claims are still much higher than in 2008/2009.
Here are some individual statistics to help get a flavour of the level of awards.
These particular figures noted below are the average awards to a successful claimant that included a claim under that particular heading.
- Unfair Dismissal £8924
- Religious Discrimination £8515
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination £11,671
- Race Discrimination £12,108
- Sex Discrimination £13,911
- Disability Discrimination £14,137
- Age Discrimination £30,289
You can see from this that getting it wrong with an employee at work might prove expensive.
There might be any number of reasons for that but to speculate why Age Discrimination has the highest awards but it might be that there are less jobs about generally and it is much harder for an older person to mitigate their losses by getting a new job.
It is certainly the case that with awards at these levels it could be a very serious matter for many employers if they get on the wrong side of the Equality Act.
As always if in doubt get some professional advice.
In court soon for a motoring offence?
For many otherwise law abiding citizens their only time in court is likely to be motoring offence matter.
This may lead them to mistakenly believe that they can just explain what happened and that is that. But that is far from the truth.
Unfortunately most people without any court experience and also quite a few who have the experience just don’t get it. The simple point is they can say the wrong things and not say the right things.
This is where the motoring offence lawyer steps in. It is a complex technical area of law quite often but more than that it is often a human nature thing.
A skilled motoring offence layer can gently push the magistrates to the point where they can make a decision in favour of the client. They don’t always take that option but often they do. The thing is you have to get close to the ‘tipping point’ to have a chance of success.
Most inexperienced lay clients I have known wouldn’t know where to start and why should they.
So if it is important and you can afford the services of a good motoring lawyer do it.
For many people going to a court is for a traffic or motoring offence will seem a bit alien.
Understanding what is likely to happen and how to get the best result is often very difficult without professional help from a good motoring offence lawyer.
It is for this reason and that motoring law can be quite technical and complex many people opt for using a lawyer to represent them.
The benefits can be substantial if technical arguments against conviction are available or magistrates can be persuaded to adopt a different or more lenient view.
Disqualification from driving can cause major problems so it is worth considering seeking help in many cases.
Bill Ryan is a Direct Access barrister and can help you present your defence or mitigation in the most effective way to help you get the best result possible.
If you want to find out more about how you can get help with your motoring offence hearing call Bill Ryan on 01225 582582 or use the contact form on the left.
Is the correct term Public Access or Direct Access barrister?
I don’t think it matters really. I have passed the required course for “Direct Public Access” but that term is a bit of a mouthful to be fair.
On barristers websites I have looked at, it is split about 50:50 (non-scientific estimate) but I notice on Google search figures that direct access v public access is currently searched about 3:2. So on that basis more people who are using Google to look for Direct Public Access barristers are thinking of it as direct access.
For my part it dos not matter and I am happy to be called either or both. It simply allows anyone to come to me to ask for legal help without using a solicitor to get expert legal advice.
I will have a look at the search figures again before Christmas to see if there any changes.
One obvious benefit of using a direct access barrister is that you need only pay your barrister’s fees and you do not have to pay for the services of a solicitor as well.
Looking a savings where you have the choice of using a solicitor or a barrister you may find that there are savings there too. Barristers have always been seen to provide a cost effective service which in part is due to the lower overheads associated with running a barrister’s practice. So it may be a case of getting a quote from a solicitor and comparing that with a quote from the barrister.
What will be clear is the true cost of a barrister’s services as this is an important ‘mandatory’ feature of the rules concerning Direct Public Access. A barrister cannot hold money on account so there can be no guesswork involved.
The Public Access Bar Association (PABA) was formed to look after the interests of barristers who accept instructions without the involvement of solicitors. So instructions can be taken directly from members of the public, businesses and organisations.
The public access scheme started in 2004 and over 900 barristers have taken the required training.
Membership of PABA currently costs £75. More information can be found on the PABA website http://paba.org.uk.
Benefits include a regular programme of CPD accredited training.
Before a barrister in private practice can accept public access instructions s/he must comply with three Bar Council requirements:
- three years practice after pupillage
- completion of a Bar Standards Board approved training course
- notification to the Bar Council that ‘public access’ is on offer
There is a dedicated form to use for the notification which needs to be returned to the Records Department of the General Council of the Bar.