Law beats lawyers in discrimination case

Law firm Clifford Chance has paid an undisclosed sum in compensation to a former partner in the first claim of sexual orientation discrimination against solicitors in Britain and Northern Ireland.

Michael Bryceland said he suffered from both direct and indirect discrimination when he worked at the firm, purely because he was gay.

An expert told the Lawyer: "This means that not only did the firm have an allegedly discriminatory culture, but specific circumstances happened where the individual felt personally discriminated against."

He started the claim in November, but it was withdrawn in April when the firm approached the competition lawyer with a proposed settlement sum.

Neither the settlement amount nor the damages have been disclosed, but experts say the total could run into seven figures if lost and future earnings were taken into account.

Parker & Co Solicitors advised Bryceland, who was suing under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, while Clifford Chance represented itself.

Clifford Chance said yesterday: "The parties are pleased to confirm that the matter was amicably resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties."

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