Top 50 City firm Travers Smith has suffered the rare public humiliation of losing a high profile discrimination case after a tribunal found the firm denied a former trainee a place in the firm because she had fallen pregnant.
The Central London Employment Tribunal found that Travers 'contrived to prevent Katie Tantum from being offered a post as a newly qualified solicitor because of her pregnancy', according to a statement by Tantum's solicitors, Leigh Day & Co.
The tribunal found that partners Julian Bass and Andrew King artificially reduced the number of places available in real estate from two to one as a direct result of the pregnancy.
Tantum was represented by Leigh Day barrister Elizabeth George, who instructed Cloisters' employment and discrimination law barrister, David Massarella. Travers Smith was represented by Essex Court Chambers' Edward Brown.
The tribunal dismissed Tantum's further claims that she was denied a permanent place in the tax, corporate and litigation...
The number of firms granted alternative business structure (ABS) status in 2013 has now hit the same level as for the whole of 2012, as Shakespeares last week became the latest mid-tier outfit to announce it has been granted a licence.
Shakespeares was the 72nd firm to obtain a licence in 2013, the same number as obtained a licence in total in 2012 after the Solicitors Regulation Authority began accepting applications on 3 January. After a slow start last year, the first licences were granted in March 2012, when Co-operative Legal Services, Kent family practice Lawbridge Solicitors and Oxfordshire firm John Welch and Stammers became an ABS. 144 firms have now been granted ABS status, fast approaching the 150 milestone.
A handful of major corporate mandates were unveiled this week as private equity house Cinven kicked off its £1.4bn proposed initial public offering (IPO) of annuity provider Partnership Assurance Group and Severn Trent rejected a preliminary takeover offer by an international consortium.
Amidst signs of renewed confidence in the IPO market, Cinven has instructed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer - led by corporate partners Mark Austin and Adrian Maguire - to advise on the float of Partnership Assurance, which Cinven acquired for €200m in 2008. Corporate partners Sarah Murphy and David Higgins are also advising on the deal, together with employment and benefits partner Simon Evans. The Magic Circle firm is acting as US and English counsel.
The lateral hire market has been particularly active in Asia this week, with some of the most established international players in the region losing experienced partners.
The most notable move came in Japan, where US firm Bingham McCutchen has added seven White & Case lawyers to its investment funds team in Tokyo.