The mock tribunal is designed to be as realistic as possible

Legal drama sheds light on tribunals

Local business owners and HR managers will be able to experience an employment tribunal at first hand, thanks to a unique collaboration between leading Devon law firm Stones Solicitors LLP and the University of Exeter.

Employment law experts at Stones have teamed up with PhD students from the Drama Department at the University of Exeter to create an event designed to shed light on what happens at an employment tribunal. It is believed that the first time that a law firm and a university have worked in partnership in this way.

The event is a combination of seminar, presentation and dramatic representation formats, taking those attending through the paperwork that goes with a tribunal case, the roles of individuals within a tribunal and the issues that employers face when a disgruntled employee takes them to a tribunal.

The roles of the characters at the mock tribunal – claimant, defendant, legal teams, witnesses, judge, lay members – will be taken by members of the Employment Team at Stones and PhD drama students from the University of Exeter.

John Turnbull, Partner and Head of the Employment Team at Stones, said: “In many cases, the first experience an employer has of an employment tribunal is when they are taken to one by an employee. By combining our seminar/presentation with dramatic re-enactments we hope to create a realistic scenario, supported by paperwork and explanations throughout the event, which will give those who attend an authentic flavour of what is involved with an employment tribunal.”

He added: “We are delighted to be working with PhD students from the Drama Department at the University of Exeter. Their involvement makes this event even more exciting and their skills and expertise will add additional veracity to proceedings.”

Fiona Macbeth, Senior Teaching Fellow at the Drama Department, University of Exeter, added: “Stones has provided us with an excellent opportunity to get students involved in a project that takes drama into a real life situation. Not only will it give some of our PhD students a superb experience to add to their CVs, but it will also be valuable to our other students who will be able to sit in on rehearsals and the mock tribunal event and see how the art of drama can work with the world of business.”

The mock tribunal will take place between 9.00am and 1.00pm on Thursday 22nd March 2012, at Exeter Racecourse. Places are limited and are available free of charge to clients of Stones Solicitors, and at a charge of £25 to non-clients. The event includes refreshments and copies of supporting documentation to take away. All attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance for the relevant hours of CPD. To book a place please contact Eleanor Wilson by email at Stones or telephone 01392 666777.

Date: 14 February 2012