Clifford Chance denies discrimination claim over axed US associates

Clifford Chance has denied allegations that it discriminated against six associates who were laid off from its New York office in 2007.

The denial comes in response to a lawsuit brought by one of the six, Karen Ramdhanie, last month.

All six of the associates who were laid off came from the firm’s structured finance practice and were engaged in document review work for Standard & Poor’s in relation to its rating of mortgage-backed securities. Four of the former associates are women, two of whom are black, and the other two are black men.

Ramdhanie claims that two other associates, both white males, were transferred out of the same team shortly before the group was laid off. The 48-year-old is seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as a letter of apology from the firm and a change in its recruitment policy.

In papers filed earlier this month, Clifford Chance has denied claims that it discriminated on the basis of race, gender, national origin or age.

The firm declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

Proskauer Rose partner Bettina Plevin is acting for Clifford Chance. Plevin’s previous law firm clients in relation to disputes with associates include DLA Piper and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.