Freshfields sweats on Bloxham claim verdict

THE HEARING of age discrimination claims brought by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s ex-insolvency partner Peter Bloxham against his former firm came to an end last week with news that all parties would have an agonising wait for a judgment over the summer.

Bloxham’s claim is the first action from a former partner that Freshfields has faced in its 350-year history.

The magic circle firm is currently in mediation with its former co-head of disputes Jo Rickard over the non-compete clause in the pension. Freshfields is also facing one more discrimination claim from former corporate partner Lois Moore. If Bloxham’s claim is successful, Moore’s is also likely to be so.

Bloxham alleges that Freshfields’ controversial pension reforms “forced” him to retire six months earlier than he had intended, in October 2006, aged 54.

Freshfields, meanwhile, has had to stress that its pension reforms were distinct from its £55m restructuring, dubbed ‘Size and Shape’, which culled 100 partners from the equity.