Lewis Silkin files Villalba appeal

Lewis Silkin has filed an appeal on behalf of its client Stephanie Villalba, the former investment banker who lost her sex discrimination case against Merrill Lynch in December.

The firm had 42 days to appeal against the December decision of the Croydon employment tribunal, which found that Merrill Lynch had not discriminated against Villalba on grounds of gender. She had claimed £7.5m in compensation for discrimination.

However the tribunal did allow Villalba’s claim of unfair dismissal and some elements of an unlawful victimisation claim. Villalba can be awarded up to £55,000 for the unfair dismissal.

Lewis Silkin confirmed that the appeal had been filed but said that it could not disclose details at this stage. Villalba has to appeal on legal grounds, not on the facts of the case.

The firm’s joint head of employment, James Davies, is representing Villalba, instructing Dinah Rose of Blackstone Chambers. Lovells employment partner Lisa Mayhew is acting for Merrill Lynch, with Nicholas Underhill QC of Fountain Court as counsel.