Employment chambers set for Post Office fight

Employment ;sets Blackstone Chambers, Garden Court and 11KBW are set to go into battle after a severely disabled woman was given the right to seek a judicial review relating to the decision to close thousands of post offices.

Elisabeth Laing QC of 11KBW, acting for pensioner Judy Brown, will argue that the closure of 2,500 post offices discriminates against disabled people.

At the High Court hearing to seek a judicial review, it was argued that the Government unlawfully exempted the Post Office from equality laws. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) disputed this.

Blackstone silk Michael Fordham QC, for Royal Mail, strongly contested the right to a review. He told the court that social need had to be balanced against commercial sustainability.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Davis held that local post office branches formed an important part of the social fabric of communities, although he added that it was “with some reluctance” that he granted permission, as he said Brown had “just about enough” grounds for an argument.

Laing, instructed by associate Gareth Mitchell from Pierce Glynn, led Stephen Knafler of Garden Court Chambers.

The Treasury Solicitor’s Department, for the DWP and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory ;Reform, instructed Jonathan Swift as lead counsel and Holly Stout, both of 11KBW.CONTACTS