We are delighted to announce that our Senior Associate Caroline Baker was part of the team that collected a prestigious Law Society Legal Excellence Award on behalf of the Employment Lawyer’s Association.
Caroline has served as a member of the Employment Lawyer’s Association Pro Bono Committee for a number of years. She was part of a team of three people that originally set up the Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme (ELIPS) to assist unrepresented litigants in Tribunal. ELIPS is modelled on similar to other schemes already successfully operated in the High Court and family court.
Following a successful trial in London in the Summer of 2015, the ELIPS scheme was formally adopted by the by HM Courts and Tribunals Service to be a permanent scheme. The scheme, which runs in collaboration with the Bar Pro Bono Unit, LawWorks and the Free Representation Unit is also supported by the judiciary and has been endorsed by the President of the Employment Tribunals, Brian Doyle who has said: "Your work in supporting litigants in person is very much appreciated, we hope that the Scheme in London Central will continue successfully and we are optimistic that means of rolling out the model in other parts of the Country will emerge."
Commenting on the award Caroline said “ELIPS now regularly helps many people each week who can’t afford their own legal advice with on the day advocacy and assistance with their cases. It is great to see the Pro Bono Committee’s hard work in setting up and running the scheme acknowledged.”
The partners of GQ are very proud of Caroline’s role in helping to set up ELIPS and are delighted that the work of ELA’s Pro Bono committee has been recognised by the Law Society.
The employment tribunals were originally set up in the 1970s as an easy and accessible way for lay people to resolve workplace disputes. Over the years the law and procedure underpinning them as made them increasingly less accessible and increasingly difficult for unrepresented litigants in person to navigate. ELIPS is intended to help redress part of the balance whilst giving the volunteer lawyers practical hands on experience. Respondent lawyers, our employer clients and the judiciary also hugely benefit from the ability of litigants in person to understand the process and access timely impartial advice on their position before and during the hearing.
Caroline is pictured (fourth from the right) also with Michael Reed (FRU), Sophie Roberts, Jess Campbell (Bar Pro Bono Unit), Jennifer McGrandle, Ruth Gamble (Chair of the ELA Pro Bono Committee), David Raeburn (LawWorks), Daniela Mahapatra and Benjamin Gray (left to right).