Race-claim barrister appeal bid dismissed by EAT

The barrister who brought and lost a race discrimination claim against 4 New Square has had her appeal bid thrown out by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

Aisha Bijlani
Aisha Bijlani

Aisha Bijlani, who had been a pupil with the set and a member since 1993, claimed she was the victim of a sustained campaign of racism orchestrated by the set’s senior clerk Lizzie Wiseman.

The barrister claimed losses of £33m, £7.6m of which was for past loss of earnings and £26m for potential future loss of earnings.

Bijlani alleged that she was not put forward to work on cases and that fees were not collected in her name. This, she claimed, was because of her race and, latterly, because she suffered clinical depression – a disability that she said prevented her from practising.

The Employment Tribunal dismissed Bijlani’s 16 claims against former head of chambers Roger Stewart QC, Justin Fenwick QC, John Powell QC and Wiseman in March (3 March 2010).

Bijlani launched her appeal bid in April, claiming that the tribunal “failed to apply the correct legal test for harassment” and did not consider that “conduct and attitudes” in the clerks’ room at 4 New Square ”created a hostile working environment” (19 April 2010).

The EAT dismissed the appeal at the sifting stage stating that Bijlani had no grounds upon which to pursue the claim.

4 New Square declined to comment.