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After Travers defeat, Linklaters faces discrimination claim by former paralegal

Linklaters is being sued by a former paralegal for unfair dismissal and discrimination just weeks after top 50 law firm Travers Smith was found to have discriminated against a former trainee because she had fallen pregnant.

The case against Linklaters started today (10 June) in the London Central Employment Tribunal and the hearing is scheduled to run for six days.The claim is for unfair dismissal, discrimination, racial discrimination, religious discrimination and breach of contract, according to the tribunal listing. The tribunal lists the name of the claimant as Mr A Hussain and is being heard by Employment Judge Pearl.

Hussain has instructed Laura McHugh at JMW Solicitors with Kashif Ali of St Johns Buildings acting as counsel. Linklaters is being advised by Lewis Silkin associate Shalina Crossley with Amy Sander of Essex Court Chambers instructed as counsel.

The case comes after the same tribunal in May found Travers Smith had discriminated against former trainee Katie Tantum, represented at the tribunal by Leigh Day & Co, by refusing her a place at the firm after she fell pregnant.

In that case, 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 result of the pregnancy.

In 2011 the Legal Services Board (LSB) announced plans to force law firms and barristers’ chambers to publish their diversity figures, including the gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and educational background of their lawyers.

Linklaters was one of the first major UK law firm to publish its diversity data on the LSB website. Reporting became compulsory in December 2012.

Employment claims against major law firms remain relatively rare, despite mounting focus in recent years on the general lack of diversity in the legal profession.

Linklaters declined to comment.