Representing yourself in court

Years ago, I wrote a short guide for the Guardian on how to represent yourself in Court. You can find it here. In the time since then, the number of people representing themselves has gone up, they’re called “litigants in person” and while it’s generally a bad idea if you can avoid it, it struck me that there isn’t enough good information out there for the many people who go down this route, and that many more people are likely to go down this route in the future, particularly in the short term, due to the state of the economy.

It would be helpful for those individuals, for the courts, for the lawyers they face, and for the justice system as a whole if more information was available to assist people who are stuck representing themselves. Often the skills those individuals lack, or the elements they fall down in when it comes to their case, can end up costing them dearly, when just a small amount of assistance or forethought might make the process much smoother and possibly lead to better outcomes for them.

To that end, I am inviting fellow practitioners and anyone who has successfully done this to share their helpful hints and tips, and in my spare time in the coming weeks I will compile them into a simple guide. If you have any advice, tweet it to me, and please the hashtag #HelpLitigants or email helplitigants@rupertmyers.com

About

Rupert has represented parties as sole counsel in multi-track commercial, contentious probate, High Court Chancery, and Court of Appeal cases. His commercial experience includes being instructed both to undertake advisory work and to appear on behalf of applicants and respondents in Employment Tribunal hearings and in corporate insolvency proceedings. Additionally he has advised on disputes involving conflict of laws and has conducted cases with cases in which both jurisdiction and the choice of laws have been in issue. He is an experienced advocate and negotiator in ToLATA, land disputes, and matrimonial finance proceedings.

Rupert read law at Emmanuel College Cambridge and went on to be an Inner Temple Exhibitioner before joining East Anglian Chambers in 2009.   Specialising in contract and commercial disputes, employment law, insolvency and personal injury claims, Rupert routinely appears for claimants and defendants in the County Court, Employment Tribunals, insolvency proceedings in the Rolls Building and is regularly instructed to provide advice in these fields.

He has also appeared in a number of regulatory cases before the First-tier Tribunals, and the Magistrates and Crown Court.

Before becoming a barrister Rupert debated for Inner Temple and Cambridge University in national and international competitions, and spent time at law firms in Tokyo (Linklaters) and Sydney (Allens Arthur Robinson).

Rupert has appeared as a legal pundit on BBC 1, ITV Anglia, Channel Five and Sky News.  His writing on the legal system has been published in The Lawyer, The Times, The Telegraph, The Independent and The Guardian.

Rupert grew up in East Anglia, and was a scholar at Woodbridge School. In his spare time he enjoys travel and cooking.

Rupert Myers: East Anglian Chambers, Barrister