Donna Patterson: How I represented myself against Morrisons and won £60,000

Donna Patterson: How I represented myself against Morrisons and won £60,000

Representing yourself in Tribunal isn't easy, but Donna Patterson shows that it can be done. You may have heard her story on BBC radio, now you can learn more about how Donna ran her own Tribunal case for unfair dismissal and discrimination and won.

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Top Learnings from Donna

Donna’s first tip: get your list of issues right!

A list of issues is essentially the legal framework and structure of your entire case. It lists out all the questions that the Tribunal will have to decide on. It’s important to remember that it is essentially a list of questions, not statements. The point is not to assert your case, but to define what each side is disagreeing about.

Donna’s second tip: you can amend your claim, even at your preliminary hearing!

For Donna, there were two separate ways she could have amended her claim:

  • When filling out her Case Management Agenda, there was a space in the form asking about any changes to be made.
  • During her preliminary hearing, she emailed the Tribunal asking to amend her claim.

Both options require you to explain why you’d like to make a change. This rationale could include: not knowing something happened, how it impacted you, etc. Although your rationale might be sound, the Tribunal won’t always accept any changes.

Donna’s third tip: use a Timeline to get your story straight!

For Donna, our Timeline was critical. The Timeline allows you to input events and attach evidence to the event. A lot of things happened in her case, with some of her events having more than one piece of evidence!

During a Tribunal, you need to be crystal clear and detailed about what happened, when it happened, who said what, etc., while having evidence to back up your claim. Using a Timeline can help you sort out your entire case and keep you organised.

Need some more advice? Watch the full webinar to learn about Donna’s journey from self-representer to Tribunal winner.

Gary Turner, Co-founder of Xero UK

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Who is hosting this event?

This event is being run by Danae Shell, one of Valla's founders. The team at Valla has built a platform to allow people to resolve their own employment issues when they can’t afford a law firm. Valla’s team is a mix of lawyers and technologists, and their platform is designed by employment law lawyers and experts.

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Danae Shell, Valla co-founder

Why use Valla?

A law firm can cost anywhere from an initial consultation fee of £200 to £35,000+ plus VAT for Tribunal representation.

Valla offers users low-cost alternatives to pricey law firms. We can help guide you through the process and generate legal documents for your use.

Lawyers can be expensive. But access to justice doesn’t have to be.