Fired junior clerk blames wage row

A former junior clerk at 2 Grays Inn Square chambers has accused the set of firing him after he complained that he was receiving less pay than he was originally promised.

But the set insists Kennedy Chulu was dismissed because he was incompetent, not because of the salary dispute.

When Chulu was taken on by the common law chambers in October last year as a junior clerk he received a letter from practice manager Paul Simpson. It stated that his salary would be "£7,000 per annum in arrears net of all deductions". But when he received his monthly pay packet he found his net salary was just £5,772.

Chulu claims that when he raised the discrepancy with Simpson he was told nothing could be done about it.

"He just treated me like I was being silly to raise the issue," said Chulu. He claims his working relationship with Simpson broke down after the conversation and that he was then fired without explanation on 16 January.

Chulu is calling on the chambers to pay him back the difference between the money he was promised in the letter and the wage he received.

Simpson acknowledged that the letter of employment stated that Chulu would receive £7,000 net. But he said the paragraph was a mistake and that he and others had made it clear to Chulu on several occasions – before and after the letter was written – that his salary was £7,000 gross. He said Chulu was dismissed because he was incompetent.

This was confirmed by head of chambers Giles Eyre.

"Despite being provided with advice and assistance in an attempt to remedy the situation, Mr Chulu's performance did not improve and it was decided that it was not possible to continue his employment," he said.