By Ed Beever, Employment Barrister
The current situation is presenting us all with significant challenges and we are determined to continue to provide you with the highest quality service. Traditional face to face meetings are no longer an option and the Employment Tribunal is struggling to provide judicial decisions which meet the expectations of litigants and lawyers alike. We believe that we can make a difference and we want to work with you to continue to provide a client-focused and responsive service, with efficient management and clear channels of communication.
Advice and Assistance
All members of our specialist team are able to provide you with advice and assistance in a manner that best suits you. Telephone advice and discussions are well established means of providing that service. We can embrace new technology and offer you video conferencing and meetings. We can join your meeting or we can facilitate a meeting and invite any number of participants to attend. All members of our team can manage this process. For example, members are already familiar with Zoom, an internet conferencing facility. If your case would benefit from a conference, we can set everything in place. You can simply be invited to join a video meeting with an email invitation like this:
Making Virtual Hearings a Reality
We can offer advice on managing tribunal proceedings, ranging from managing and disclosing e-bundles to practical suggestions for preparing and presenting at remote hearings. Julie Duane understands the pressures of managing casework and ensuring effective presentation at tribunal. If you click on the link, you will be able to access Julie’s Virtual Hearing Checklist for Solicitors to provide you with added support in managing your litigation.
We believe that our extensive experience across the team of tribunal hearings means that we are well placed to influence decisions on the case management and determination of employment claims. This means that we can work effectively to pursue our clients’ best interests and at the same time meet the challenges of remote working. The way forward is technology and St Philips Employment is dedicated to the idea that final hearings and hearings with contested evidence will shortly and inevitably be conducted using technology. We can advise and assist on how to achieve the best outcome, from training witnesses on giving evidence remotely to the management of documents during a remote hearing. Our specialist team is currently at work on proposals designed to assist the Employment tribunal. Joel Wallace knows well how to influence a tribunal process and recently persuaded an Employment Judge to list a contested remedy hearing in April 2020 by Skype. If you follow this link, you will be able to access Joel’s thoughts on Making Virtual Hearings a Reality to meet the challenges of the new way of working, amid evolving guidance from the Courts and Tribunals Service, Government and the Presidents of the Tribunals.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
We remain acutely aware that many of our clients – claimants and respondents – will be very concerned about the delay to completion of their claims. We know that settlement may well be in the mind of many parties and their representatives at this time. Of course, settling cases is something that is the usual workload of most employment solicitors, but there may be cases where assistance is needed. St Philips Employment has been thinking about ways in which we can offer that assistance to our clients. We can offer alternative dispute resolution.
If you need somebody independent to conduct negotiations, St Philips Employment has a number of individuals who are qualified mediators who would be able to assist with the settlement of claims via telephone or video conferencing mediation. You may even need this at short notice and in response to an unexpected adjournment of a Judicial Mediation. We can help on short notice and if you follow this link, you will be able to access a description of St Philips Employment Video Mediation Services offered by Rob and Sophie.
Our flexible approach to alternative dispute resolution reminds us that early judicial assessment in the tribunal is an option (as approved by Presidential Guidance) but until now little used. We can offer advice and guidance on the benefits and the practicalities of pursuing early judicial assessment. Following on in that vein, members of the Group are experienced in accepting joint instructions to provide authoritative and independent reasoned decisions to enable prompt and effective resolution to disputes without the heavy costs or inconvenience or extensive delays of the tribunal process. If this appeals to you, please follow the link to Ed Beever’s alternative resolution, Counsel’s Opinion. At any time you can contact Gary and he can provide you with CVs.
We would like to share our knowledge with you: above all, we continue to strive to provide you with a first class responsive service, understanding the needs and aims of our clients.
Finally, for all the above, you will always remain able to access the services of our fantastic clerking team, led by Gary Carney: if you have any feedback or indeed any query at all, please drop Gary an email by clicking here.