Tony began working for a large retail company in 2008. After many years of standing on ladders to do fiddly jobs in confined spaces, he began to suffer pain and loss of sensation in his fingers. 

In 2015, he had a serious operation on his cervical spine. Following an occupational health assessment two months later, Tony went back to work with reasonable adjustments.  

In 2019, he requested his line manager to excuse him from some heavy lifting because it caused him pain and he was asked to do it regularly. Over the next couple of months, he was invited to attend two capability assessments to judge his capacity to work, after which he was dismissed from his job on the grounds of incapability.  

With support from Waterloo Legal Advice Centre, Tony applied to the Employment Tribunal to claim for unfair dismissal. When he heard that there would be a three-day hearing, he realised he needed more help and was advised by RCJ Advice to apply to Advocate for assistance from a barrister.  

Advocate paired Tony with a barrister who represented him at his hearing. 

The Employment Tribunal judge found that Tony had been treated badly because of his disability and that his dismissal had been unfair. The parties were ordered to settle the matter between them, which they did. 

Tony said: “All I know is that I couldn’t fathom how to go it alone. RCJ Advice’s solicitor and Advocate’s barrister stepped in to help me, for which I will always be grateful.” 

Tony’s barrister said: “Litigation is a stressful and difficult experience for litigants in person, particularly when there are sensitive issues to be dealt with at trial. Using my skills where I can, to help individuals like Tony, is both personally and professionally rewarding”.