Former Eversheds partner hits out at firm's handling of discrimination issue

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  • Oh dear, not again. Eversheds just can't do anything right at the moment, can they?

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  • Confused - I think he left because he felt the whole thing has been whitewashed by the firm.
    The coldness is because, leaky or not, his departure indicates that at least some people in the firm thought the whole episode left a bad taste.

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  • Dutson may not be unusual amongst middle aged male partners in holding such distasteful views, but he is unusual in being so inept as to commit them to email.
    Far more depressing though is the fact that Eversheds has revealed its true colours in supporting him. Why did the firm react in this way, when it would have been so easy to take the opportunity to make a stand against this kind of lazy thinking and show some support to all their hard working and dedicated female lawyers?
    In a "people" business, the Eversheds brand has taking such a battering over the past year that you wonder whether it is beyond repair, at least in the mid-market and above.

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  • It is not surprising that this still goes on. Having been employed at BLP in the past... i had the same experience whereby when having a supposed "informal interview" for a paralegal role I was not only impromptly "interviewed" without the presence of a partner but I was also asked of my intentions to have children. Of course I made a complaint but being a contractual employee i was of course "let go". The associates in question were of course "questioned" and of course they said i was lying! Its better to stay away from these firms all together.. that and it blatently shows that the old fashioned chauvenistic attitudes wtill remain!

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  • The question has been asked where else Shackleton has worked. At a minimum, this would include White & Case, Norton Rose, Simmons & Simmons, Baker McKenzie and Eversheds....

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  • I'm surprised that Stuart Dutson is getting away so lightly.
    Eversheds exposes itself as a TTT (third tier toilet) that it is by dealing with this matter so unprofessionally. Sarcasm gets you no sympathy.

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  • The city does appears to still have an awful lot of male chauvinists employed within it's precincts

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  • I have little time for Eversheds but I can't believe how gullible some people (incl The Lawyer) are about Shackleton.
    Nobody can draw accurate conclusions as to the meaning of one email without seeing the whole chain, anyone doing litigation work can tell you that. Just because bleedin Roll on Friday, The Lawyer and the Daily Mail characterise the email in question one way, doesn't mean they're right. Read the email and ignore what the hacks and Shackleton have to say, it just doesn't say what is alleged.
    As for Shackelton's story, it's so full of holes, even he would have to be embarrassed to put it forward in court.

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  • The earlier reference to the Court of Appeal case is interesting. The comments by Employment Judge Phillip Rostant about Eversheds' conduct in ET proceedings against them in 2000 are also still interesting. On 29 September 2000 Employment Judge Phillip Rostant of the Brimingham Employment Tribunal made an award of costs against Eversheds on the grounds that their conduct had been unreasonable. Eversheds were representing themselves in their defence of claims of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal ( constructive dismissal) brought by a former employee. ( R.MacLaverty Case No. 2502689/99). Employment Judge Phillip Rostant found that Eversheds had been unreasonable for five months of a period during which they argued that the claims had been settled through ACAS. (Eversheds had requested that there be a hearing to determine whether or not settlement had been reached. They withdrew from the hearing in the week before their application regarding alleged settlement was fixed to be heard.) ) On behalf of Eversheds, Audrey Williams had the conduct of the proceedings. In his Extended Reasons, contained in his Decision ( promulgation date 25 October 2000) Employment Judge Rostant stated that he was "deeply troubled by the manner in which the respondents have conducted themselves". He specifically referred to Mrs. Williams and the fact that she had the conduct of the proceedings.
    The Applicant appealed against the Decision to the Employment Appeal Tribunal ,arguing that she should have been awarded all the costs claimed and arguing that Eversheds' conduct had been unreasonable for the entire period in which they had claimed that the case had settled. The EOC were made aware of the Costs Decision in February 2001 when the Applicant applied to them for assistance with the main action and the EAT Appeal. The EOC ‘s legal committee considered the application and declined to help with either set of proceedings. (The EAT appeal was settled when Eversheds agreed to pay all the costs. EAT references 1491/00 and 0027/01)
    Audrey Williams is now the head of Discrimination law and Equality at Eversheds. Profiles of her make reference to the work that she undertook for the EOC , her membership of the former EOC’s legal experts committee and her work for ACAS.

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  • The comments seem to suggest then that the reason for Shackleton leaving had far less to do with the spat over emailed questions and employment rights, but more to do with something else. Now we're getting somewhere.
    The leak issue may also be a bit of a red herring, as whoever did it, apparently did it after Shackleton's departure.

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