Law Soc plans second A&O investigation

The Law Society is planning to launch its second investigation into Allen & Overy (A&O), this time on the back of a successful victimisation claim made against the firm by project manager Shazia Wahab.

A string of other discrimination claims brought by Wahab were dismissed by the London Central Employment Tribunal on 23 September. However, a comment made by an HR manager led to what is believed to be the first discrimination ruling against a magic circle firm.

The Law Society, through the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS), is seeking Wahab’s consent to start an investigation into her case. This comes two weeks after the society revealed it was investigating A&O for accepting instructions from two banks advising competing supermarkets on the Safeway bid. A Law Society spokesperson said: “We’re asking whether [Wahab] would like to make an official complaint to the Law Society against the firm with the view to starting an OSS investigation.”
An A&O spokesperson pointed out that while Wahab gave 11 examples of alleged discrimination, the tribunal accepted only one of them, namely that the HR manager had told her that taking the case to tribunal was “professional suicide”.

“The judge also mentioned our good equal opportunities training and open and friendly collegiate atmosphere,” added the A&O spokesperson.