TWENTY partners at the London firm Baileys Shaw & Gillett are being sued for breach of contract by a former salaried partner.

In a statement of claim lodged at the Central London County Court, Pauline Walker accused the firm of breaching the employment severance arrangements that she had been agreed with the partners.

She is claiming for the loss of £18,064 salary and £1,538 accrued holiday entitlement.

The dispute centres on the events leading up to Walker's redundancy from the firm when it closed its matrimonial department in spring this year.

Walker alleges the firm reneged on a promise to continue to pay her for six months after she was given notice of her redundancy in February.

She claims the firm repudiated its agreement by ceasing to pay her only two months after that date.

In the statement of claim, Walker alleges she was told to “clear her desk immediately and leave” on 29 March by senior partner Peter Foster, one of the named defendants.

She says this happened immediately after her return from a two-week advocacy training course which had been agreed by the firm.

A spokesman for the firm said: “We are defending these proceedings and we believe that our defence will be successful.”

Walker, who has now become a pupil barrister, said: “I very much regret that I have been driven to this.”