Bivonas discriminated against lawyer for being gay, EAT finds

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  • Disgraceful and shameful. I wouldn't be surprised if key clients stop using the firm....

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  • Bechelet should be fired. This level of unprofessionalism is quite simply unforgivable. It brings the firm into disrepute and is not befitting of a profession that is meant to be 'educated'. The managing partner's cover up report is equally pathetic. Horrid.

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  • Bivonas LLP issued a statement to Law Society Gazette saying that Mr Bennett is “working elsewhere”; they know full well Mr Bennett is not working elsewhere and that he has been ill and unable to work as a result of their discrimination since April 2010.
    The events may well have taken place almost 2 years ago; that is because Bivonas LLP denied liability throughout and then appealed against unanimous decision of the 3 judges at Employment Tribunal, thus delaying the inevitable conclusion of case for another year (the original remedies hearing was listed for March 2011. Now there will be a remedies hearing listed and also another trial listed as Mr Bennett issued a second claim that from February 2011 for discrimination, harassment, and repudiatory breach of contract as Bivonas failed to pay him sick pay and holiday pay.
    Bivonas LLP say ‘We have learned from this experience and have taken the appropriate measures in the light of the tribunal’s observations.’ Does this mean they have sacked the two lawyers who discriminated?
    This conduct of the discriminators is contrary to Code 6 of the Code of conduct for solicitors – Equality and Diversity. No doubt a complaint will be making it’s way to the SRA against John Bechelet and Antony Brown for breach of the Code. The SRA is clear – a judgment against someone for discrimination = finding of a breach of Code.

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  • Both Brown and Bechelet are a disgrace to the profession. I am disgusted by their behaviour and I hope that their firm takes action on this.

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  • Disgraceful and disappointing that so called professionals would display such ignorance and arrogance.

    Bivonas' public statements on this are arrogant and obtuse. Surely, when you get something so drastically wrong you hold your hands up, admit it and try and put it right rather than trying to defend the indefensible and immoral.

    Surely as experts in compliance they should have had the professioanl foresight to have avoided such horrendous issues - or is their management so lacking in human awareness and regulatory awareness?

    I would be concerned if I were a client about seeking advise on regulatory matters, if they are not aware that discrimination is unlawful or that grievance investigations should be effective, in depth and appropriate and seeking the truth (not to gloss over it).

    I would no longer have any confidence in this organisation.

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  • I know the firm and I think that its not fair to tar the whole firm or its ability by this incident, Antony Brown has great judgement and has carried out great work and results. I have seen Mr Bennett walking his dog over the last couple of years and he seems well to me !

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  • mature content

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