Clifford Chance associate wins fight against dismissal

The Clifford Chance associate fighting the firm’s decision to dismiss him has had his position upheld by the French Ministry for Employment.

As reported by The Lawyer (10 January), Paris associate Avi Bitton found himself in court after Clifford Chance challenged his position as a trade union representative. The firm said that Bitton’s appointment to the role was fraudulent and designed purely to protect him from dismissal.

In February, a Paris magistrates court agreed, finding in favour of Clifford Chance and judging the appointment invalid.

The firm filed a request with the labour inspection office, which regulates alleged breaches of French employment laws, seeking authorisation to dismiss Bitton. Last Wednesday (30 March) the office ruled that the firm had no grounds for dismissal.

Bitton appealed against the earlier court decision on the grounds that he holds a second union role, as representative to the firm’s personnel committee, which Clifford Chance had not contested.

Following last week’s order, Bitton is now able to return to work. “I do not consider this to be a success. This is just fairness,” he said.

Clifford Chance declined to comment.