Barrister gets race case heard

A BARRISTER who accused her former set of racial discrimination has won leave to have her case heard by the Court of Appeal.

Joy Okoye's case against Staple Inn Chambers was struck out by circuit judge Quentin Edwards QC last September when he described her claims against the chambers variously as frivolous and out of time.

But now two Court of Appeal judges, Lord Justices Hirst and Judge, have granted the barrister leave to appeal to the court.

The defendants, senior clerk Brian Monument, head of chambers Nicholas Nicholl and several of the tenants, have now applied for the leave decision to be set aside.

The barrister originally launched her action against the set more than a year ago when, in a county court summons, she said it had caved in to a law firm's refusal to accept her services due to her “African- sounding name”.

In the summons she claimed that Monument had obstructed Okoye's practice and when she complained to fellow tenants they tried to humiliate her and “oust” her from the chambers.

The case was dismissed by District Judge Litchfield last March and Judge Edwards upheld the decision.

Solicitor Michael Gillman, of London firm Bishop & Sewell, is representing Nicholl and the other tenants named in the summons.

Gillman said: “Leave to appeal was granted on very limited grounds and we are now making an application to set it aside.”