Fox Williams partner takes over claim on Merrill Lynch

Fox Williams partner Anne Nicholson has been instructed by Elizabeth Weston in a turbulent week for the former in-house lawyer’s employment claim against Merrill Lynch.

Nicholson takes over from sole practitioner Gillian Howard, who withdrew from the case on 13 June. Howard said she could not comment on the reasons for her withdrawal, but added: “This is the first time in 30 years that I’ve ever had to withdraw from a case.”

Howard said money was not at issue. She said she had demanded an apology from Fox Williams for a remark made in the tribunal, suggesting that she had withdrawn from the case because Weston would not pay the fees.

She told The Lawyer: “Elizabeth hasn’t paid a single penny. I’ve never asked Elizabeth for a penny. I had been prepared to do this on a pro bono basis.”

Howard represented Weston in her discrimination claim against Merrill Lynch last year, which settled in July. She said the bank paid a proportion of her fees at the time.

Herbert Smith partner Peter Frost is acting for Merrill Lynch.