Devonshires hit by writ for poor advice on discrimination action

City firm Devonshires has been handed a professional negligence writ by former client, hedge fund manager Celia Farnon.

Hong Kong-based Farnon alleges that the firm failed to advise her adequately in a dispute with her former employer Polar Capital.

Farnon instructed ­Devonshires partner Nicola Philp in May 2008 to advise her on a sex discrimination claim against Polar.

According to the claim filed by Farnon’s lawyers, employment boutique ­Ferguson Solicitors, ­Devonshires failed to advise her properly on the merit of her claim and failed to ­pursue the claim adequately.

Farnon claims that in May 2008 she told Polar that she wanted to be set free of the constraints of the partnership so she could join a rival hedge fund because she had suffered discrimination in the office.

According to the claim “there was no good reason for underpayment of the claimant’s bonus” other than gender and that comparable male employees did not ­suffer any such cuts.

She says that, in response, the company asked for her resignation, and when that was not forthcoming she was suspended for breach of obligation.

Devonshires senior ­partner Allan Hudson said the firm “vigorously rebutts” the claim.