Rejected trainee claims racism

An ex-Liverpool law student of Chinese origin has accused a prominent firm in the city of racial discrimination after it turned down his application for a training contract.

Perry Lee will claim at Liverpool Industrial Tribunal this week that 14-partner Morecroft Urquhart refused him a trainee contract on racial grounds, after he had spent a summer working successfully there on a paid placement.

Lee, 45, undertook the placement in 1997 while studying law on a part-time basis at John Moores University.

He claims that while working at the firm he discovered that it was recruiting trainees to start in 1999. He was given an interview, but his application was rejected.

Following the rejection Lee, whose case is being supported by the Commission for Racial Equality, has decided to give up trying to be solicitor.

He said: “I had a place on a legal practice course but it would have cost £10,000. Without the knowledge that I had a training contract, I thought it would be too risky.

“I figured that if I couldn't get a place at one of the city's better firms I wouldn't be able to get one anywhere else.”

A spokesman from Morecroft Urquhart said it was vigorously defending the application.