Government proposals for a single tribunal service to deal with cases including unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination could lead to more claims, according to Allianz Cornhill head of Lawphone, Sheena Lindegaard.

Lindegaard warned that reforms could result in more claims on technicalities if employers or employees did not follow proposed procedures.

She said: "The new reforms require employers to take certain disciplinary steps and require employees to ensure grievances are dealt directly with the employer, with the aim for both parties to resolve their disputes between themselves.

"However, if the employer fails to follow certain basic steps, a dismissal case could be automatically deemed unfair just based on technicalities."

But Lindegaard welcomed a shake-up of the system, saying: "The legal expenses insurance industry welcomes reforms that give greater access to justice.

With the high number of claims - 115,042 in the past year - disputes need to be resolved as quickly and cheaply as possible."