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Afghan-born junior barrister asked to return case after client requested ‘a white male’

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‘This was an unexpected and upsetting event’, says Rehana Popal

Rehana Popal

The first practising female Afghan-born barrister in England and Wales has taken to Twitter to reveal that she was asked to return a case because her client wanted to be represented by “a white male”.

Rehana Popal, a junior barrister at London’s 10 King’s Bench Walk, explained she had received a call from a solicitor yesterday evening to say that her client “doesn’t want an Asian female but a white male barrister”.

In a further tweet, the immigration and civil law specialist wrote that it was “great to know that no matter what you do in life, you’ll still be judged by the colour of your skin and gender”.

Coming to the UK as a refugee from Afghanistan when she was a child, Popal was unable to speak any English. She was raised on a London council estate and later studied international politics at City’s School of Arts and Social Sciences. She remained at City, first completing the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), followed by the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), and in 2013 became the first Afghan national to be called to the bar by Inner Temple.

The 2019 Chambers Most List

“This was an unexpected and upsetting event”, Popal told Legal Cheek. “It reminds me again of the importance of promoting diversity at all levels of the legal system. As much as I disagree with how the solicitor handled this, I appreciate the honesty because it has led to this conversation. We can only go forward from here”.

Unsurprisingly, lawyers were left collectively stunned by Popal’s tweets. Cloisters‘ barrister Chris Milsom responded simply with “wow”, while David Hughes, a barrister at 30 Park Place, wrote: “This shouldn’t happen”. Others were equally shocked:

Despite being urged to report the matter to the regulator, Popal told us:

“I don’t plan on taking any action against the solicitor. The solicitor was very reluctant and apologetic. The request was coming for the client, not the solicitor. However, I do wish the solicitor had done more.”

UPDATE: 15:51

The Law Society’s president, Christina Blacklaws, has now issued the following statement to Legal Cheek:

“We cannot comment on an individual case. What we can be clear about is that solicitors must not discriminate unlawfully against anyone on the grounds of any protected characteristic. A solicitor should refuse their client’s instruction if it involves the solicitor in a breach of the law or the code of conduct. Where a solicitor realises they have breached the code they may have a duty to report themselves to the regulator.”

UPDATE: 16:19

A spokesperson for Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) told us: “We take all allegations of potential discrimination seriously. If we receive strong evidence that a solicitor or firm might have failed to meet high standards we expect of them, we will investigate and take appropriate action.”

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106 Comments

Anonymous

The solicitor should not continue to act for the client. If he does, then he needs to be reported to the SRA. 10 KBW should no longer accept instructions from this solicitor.

Anonymous

I wholly agree that the solicitor should sack his client before sacking counsel in these circumstances. But I do think the decision to report has to be for the individual affected. There are often both professional and personal relationships at stake when counsel and instructing solicitors are at odds. It takes a great deal of courage to speak publically about these things. There may be more going on in the background of the case than we know. But I would like to think that if this became a pattern, any barrister would report. As Miss Popal said, at least the conversation is being had. There may well be solicitors reading this who reflect on their past behaviour or who might have acted differently in future without this unacceptable behaviour being reported on so prominently.

Anonymous

I’d like to see the solicitors named and asked for comment.

Anonymous

So would I. I think anyone would. But equally I wouldn’t criticise a decision not to name and shame. Worth remembering also that a complaint might not be capable of being pursued if it would necessitate disclosure of privileged/confidential communications. There’s also the risk that the allegation is denied and a terrible can of worms is opened that risks damaging the reputations of all involved. Tricky decision; one that only the individual involved can take.

Anonymous

No, the solicitors need to be named and given the opportunity to comment. The can of worms is opened at the point where the allegation is made, not if the allegation is denied. Confidentiality and client privilege are not relevant concerns in whether the solicitors are named.

Anonymous

Its not for the individual to decide whether or not to name them.

Anonymous

Certainly don’t need to be under the BSB Code. I take the moral point but equally, if this conduct could not be spoken about in public without naming the solicitor, you may well find it not spoken about publically at all.

Anonymous

Any investigation would need to know the name of the solicitors, and their response to the allegations. I understand why people might be concerned about speaking out, but not having the solicitors named and answering the allegations risks an uninformed discussion, which is probably worse than not having the discussion at all.

Anonymous

Look at the kickback Charlotte Proudman got when she named a solicitor who she felt behaved inappropriately towards her. As a young female barrister myself, I would not be willing to come forward and name someone publicly, even if they had acted egregiously. It could literally ruin your career and life.

Anonymous

Not comparable. Proudman was quite obviously trying to engineer such a situation so she could be ‘outraged’ for publicity. People saw through it and she got backlash accordingly.

People will always have genuine sympathy for genuine cases.

Anonymous

That’s not how I see the Proudman situation at all. I would have been similarly upset and offended if I got a message like that on linked. The problem is that it’s not always obvious whether the internet mob are going to agree with you about whether you have a genuine grievance or not.

Another anonymous man

This Anonymous clearly an Anonymous MAN

Anonymous

@8:44pm – which one do you think is an anonymous man, and why do you put man in capital letters?

Anonymous

@6:19pm – sounds like you’re saying that you think Proudman handled it wrongly.

Anonymous

While much of the abuse Charlotte Proudman took was unjustified, a lot of the criticism she received wasn’t because she is young or female or a barrister, but because people doubted the sincerity of her complaint or whether she behaved appropriately in the way she raised it. Its fine if you don’t want to name someone publicly, but people will rightly question if you make an allegation publicly without doing so.

Drumpfenkrieg

Why?

Anonymous

The Bar Council has guidance on discriminatory instructions: https://www.barcouncilethics.co.uk/documents/discriminatory-instructions/

Riding the crest of a slump

Of course, nobody complains when defendants in below the trouser cases insist on a woman to represent them.

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

LJ

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

What would the solicitor have done? He’s taking instructions from his client, what do you expect?

Anonymous

He would be justified sacking the client in these circumstances

Rump Hole of Bill Bailey

Really? As much as I condemn racism and bigotry, do we really live in a society in which racist bigots are unable to secure legal representation?

Anonymous

Of course racist bigots are entitled to representation. But that does not mean that solicitors can behave in a bigoted manner on their behalf. Can you really not see the difference?

Anonymous

Well, you wouldn’t sack him straight away. Give him his options, represented by counsel of our choice or not represented. It’s then his choice whether he is represented or not.

Anonymous

You clearly haven’t done your client care and professional standards training yet 😂

This is racism. It is in contravention of the Equality Act 2010.

Yes, the solicitor should have indeed sacked their arse-hole client.

Scep Tick

No. Just that solicitors should not facilitate it. After all, if everyone did this, there would never be any barristers who were not white males. By accepting a client’s request to instruct on a racist basis, the solicitors have committed professional breaches.

Drumpfenkrieg

Get off your high horse. There could be very valid reasons for this request. Maybe the client was raped by an Afghan female and would be triggered by having another Afghan female representing him. It’s his case, his choice.

Loljkm8

Have a look at the Code of Conduct 2011; you’ll see that there are plenty of times where your client’s wishes do not accord with your professional duties.

Anonymous

“What would the solicitor have done? He’s taking instructions from his client, what do you expect?” – I hope you are not a lawyer. The Code of Conduct makes clear that solicitors must not discriminate against anyone in the course of their professional dealings. “But the client told me to” is not a good excuse for breaching this or indeed any other of the clear rules set out.

Mr. Charles

Deplorable state of affairs. Sacking people not the answer. Education for the ill-informed and racist. Support and guidance for victims.

Anonymous

Totally agree. Making this a ‘teachable moment’ is by far the most positive outcome. If I were the barrister involved, I wouldn’t want to be forced on a racist client against either of our wishes.

Anonymous

It’s absolutely unacceptable for a solicitors firm to equip a client who have such racist and bigotry ideologies ,to exercise the ideologyies in the legal realm.

Anonymous

lol

Barrister doing immigration stuff

Of course this happens in immigration law. This kind of thing is not new or novel. Regrettably clients are given the impression that white barristers are viewed better in court. This is partly because so many Whitechapel immigration law firms are so incompetent they’ve made a name for themselves. Lay clients perhaps see this and so ask for a totally different barrister – some are sick of being taken advantage of by their own race (which believe me happens regularly). Some solicitors can’t string two coherent sentences together. I’m not saying this is ok, but also we should be careful not to dismiss this as just racism and move along. We need to reflect on this more and address the real issue at play.

Anonymous

It’s racism if you judge someone by the colour of the skin. What you’re suggesting is racism.

Anonymous

Read the comment again. Carefully. You haven’t understood what the barrister said.

Drumpfenkrieg

“Some solicitors can’t string two coherent sentences together“

Not a bar to success – see the current Mayor of London.

Anonymous

Trumpenkrieg needed legal help, did he?

Anonymous

Section 47(6) of the Equality Act 2010 renders the Solicitor’s conduct unlawful. There is nothing new about this but only by refusing to go along with it will anything ever change.

Anonymous

This happens more regularly than you might think, although it is usually done less explicitly and the reasons for the change of counsel aren’t made clear to the original barrister (you find out when you are the replacement).

Examples I have encountered include the aforementioned “below the trouser” cases in which people think that a jury might be more sympathetic to the client if he is represented by a woman, young Muslim men who can only be represented by a Muslim barrister (preferably male), white people who don’t want to be represented by a BAME barrister and any number of clients who think that the barrister looks a bit young/old/not posh enough/too posh.

Anonymous

If as a barrister you know (as opposed to suspect) your predecessor has been sacked because of their race, gender or age then you ought to make a report to the SRA. Colluding in that kind of behaviour brings the profession into disrepute.

Hardcore pawn

How do you draw a straight line between not reporting to the SRA, and collusion?

Anonymous

Agree, but it tends not to be as explicit as that – that’s what makes this story interesting. Clerks are always asked to find female counsel for sex cases. They go along with it because they want to keep the sols happy.

Hmp q.c.

Snitches get stitches where I come from

Jerkin joe

This behaviour is totally unethical and needs reporting – what is her chambers doing about this I wonder. Their silence speaks volumes and they have a duty to protect their members surely. They could take a stand. I know mine have in the past

Anonymous

She said on Twitter chambers have been great, taking a zero tolerance approach and are speaking to the firm, wouldn’t rush to judgment.

Anonymous

She has a nice hair. Why would somebody do this to the nice woman? Nasty, horrible people.

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

Sorry Dwight, please don’t cut me.

Mr Brown

Cut me Dwight. You know it’s consensual.

Deffo anon

Not useless, he could get pegged

Devil’s barrister

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

Poor form to go with someone else on the basis a judge might think “oh what a marvellous chap, knows his rugby and from good stock”.

Anonymous

If It’s true then she has to name the solicitor.

Actually that’s her duty under the Bar Code.

If she fails to do so proceedings should be taken against her.

Anonymous

If it were another barrister she would have to. BarriTers aren’t obligated under the code to report solicitors though.

Anonymous

Core Duty 5 mate: “CD5 You must not behave in a way which is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in you or in the profession [CD5].”

She’s got to dob the sollies in. Or dob herself in. Or both.

As things stand, she is behaving in a way that is likely to diminish trust and confidence in the profession, because everyone thinks: “Oh them solicitors be racist and the barrister don’t care because she wants to keep them sweet for others gigs” – and that’s not great.

Anonymous

The BSB have long had a policy of not taking action against the victims of discrimination for failing to dob in those discriminating against them. They recently sent round an email reaffirming this policy.

Anonymous

Please provide the email.

Sorry but if we’re going to stamp this kind of thing out we need to do it more affirmatively.

I seriously doubt the BSB did that or at least in the terms you say. And even if it did, that is just a policy of non-enforcement against those who choose to stay silent, and does not exculpate the barrister for covering the back of the solicitor and (very publicly) contributing to a diminishment of trust and confidence in the profession.

Anonymous

It’s exactly as I say – a policy of “non-enforcement”. That means that the duty still exists but the BSB will not enforce it.

This is a basic concept.

Are you a lawyer?

Anonymous

Er, read my comment above. I never said that there was no such duty. What I said was, “The BSB have long had a policy of not taking action against the victims of discrimination for failing to dob in those discriminating against them.” You denied such a policy existed. The link I posted clearly shows that it does. Stop digging.

Anonymous

Actually query whether it’s really a para. 16 matter when the miscreant is a solicitor and the barrister has already gone public on Twitter – it should be a straight Core Duty 5 issue of diminishing trust and confidence in the profession.

Either the allegation is true but the wrongdoer gets to carry on his/her solicitoring (presumably still briefing said barrister), or the accusation is false in which case the barrister is in the wrong.

In either case the public is left with a diminished view of the profession(s).

Anonymous

Yes – if it is true then it is a clear beach of SRA Code of Conduct Rule 6.

Even if she doesn’t report it, anyone reading her tweet – or anyone reading this website – should make the report themselves and put the SRA under pressure to conduct the requisite investigations. It should not be too hard because they know who the barrister is and all they have to do is ask her who the solicitors are.

I think we can all agree that if it is true, then the solicitors should be dealt with and disciplined accordingly – probably struck off. And if false, well the barrister should be dealt with accordingly.

What is unacceptable is to leave the matter hanging like this.

Anonymous

That’s right. Strike the solicitor off. And make an order for £40k costs?

finalllllly a news day that isn't slow

ok

Random passer-by

Very sad. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you work at a crappy common law set. Let this be a lesson to you kids, aim for the commercial bar and even if you fail and end up doing chancery work, you still don’t have to deal with muppet clients.

Anonymous

So the rich oligarch types that line the pockets of the commercial bar these days are not ‘muppets’ and do not have an impure thought between them all…..

Anonymous

Wonder what kind of solicitor goes to a publicly declared LGBT/immigration Twitterati activist and says “yeah sorry mate white males only please”?

Wouldn’t they be more likely to just make up some kind of excuse?

Not saying it can’t happen but… still.

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

If you’re suggesting she is lying, I highly doubt this. It would be obvious to any member of her clerking team if she were, and her head of chambers/chambers equality representative will also be asking questions. It would come out very quickly if she were lying. And if she were then she would be hauled in front of the BSB. No sensible, established barrister would risk their career in this way.

Anonymous

Totally agree. You would have to be a total, total moron to invent this. Can’t imagine any barrister making this up. Don’t see how it could be positive for career either.

Anonymous

Not saying that she’s lying, but I could imagine some barristers making up something like this. I can also see how lying about this could be good for their career (as long as they don’t get caught) or at least how they might think it could be.

Anonymous

I don’t suggest that she’s lying, but I don’t see how someone lying in a situation like this would be obvious to the clerks (and if it was, what they would do). HOC/equality representative would probably not question too closely whether the allegation was true or may genuinely believe it to be true (some people just believe any discrimination/harassment allegations unquestioningly). I don’t see how it would necessarily come out quickly (or at all) if someone lied in a situation like this, especially if the solicitors aren’t named and given the opportunity to respond. And I don’t think it can be said that ‘no sensible, established barrister’ would make such an allegation, as there is no real burden of proof associated with making it and therefore unlikely to be a career risk.

Anonymous

er obviously your clerk knows when something is taken out of your diary or you are sacked from a case. It’s literally their job. Higher ups in any functional chambers would want to know details of something like this, especially when publicised.

Anonymous

Er, not sure how a clerk would necessarily know the reason for something being taken out of a diary and if any reason given was genuine. Higher ups in the same Chambers, functional or not, are unlikely to ask if someone is lying where an allegation of discrimination is made, as I say, many people, especially in diversity type roles, believe any allegations of discrimination or harassment unquestioningly.

Anonymous

Ridiculous. So you are postulating that there WAS a date taken out of her diary by a particular solicitor, and but that she would risk making a false allegation relation to the reason for it, in the hope that the clerks would not make a follow-up call to that solicitor or the solicitor contact the clerks to find alternative counsel, and that no one in her chambers would say to her, gosh, this sounds serious, which matter was it? Sounds fanciful to me. I don’t know where you work, but in my chambers, people have conversations with one another.

Anonymous

I’n not suggesting she lied, but I’m saying it would be easy to get away with lying in circumstances like this. Including in your chambers or any other. The clerks could be told anything and as I say, senior members of chambers are unlikely to dig too deeply.

Anonymous

I just don’t agree. If I told my clerk that I had been fired for discriminatory reasons, absolutely he would ask questions of the sol – particularly in circumstances where the sol was trying to weasel out of paying me! If I went public with an anonymous accusation of discrimination, absolutely the E&D officer in chambers would get involved, and look into whether chambers needed to do anything to prevent their members being discriminated against. The idea that any barrister could make up a story like this and feel confident that *no one* in chambers would ask questions or check out whether it stacked up is ludicrous.

Anonymous

What you’re saying just doesn’t ring true though. The scenario you give with your clerk probably wouldn’t happen, and even if it did wouldn’t lead to a lie being uncovered. What is ludicrous is that the notion that your own chambers, especially an E&D bod, would give you such a grilling if you made up a claim of discrimination that the truth would immediately become apparent.

Anonymous

Client also seems a bit of an oddball because this was by self-admission from the barrister “a case that I had previously been instructed on”.

It was during the adjournment that the client discovered his/her/its hitherto unexplored racist desires and wanted to change barrister accordingly.

So somehow the client started out as not really a racist but became a racist during an adjournment.

Anonymous

Adjourned by a few weeks. In immigration, in that situation, you would generally not have met your barrister before the morning of the adjourned hearing.

Anonymous

Name the solicitors and have them answer the accusation.

Anonymous

For starters she can’t spell “racism” which hardly inspires confidence. Would put money on this being total BS.

JJ

“Child refugee from Afghanistan. Came to this country without being able to speak a word of English. Raised in an inner London council estate. Went to a state comp. Dyslexic. First Afghan to be called to bar by @TheInnerTemple First female practicing Afghan Barrister #IAmTheBar“

That’s her twitter bio. You can get fucked.

Taliban AL

Has anyone actually checked or verified whether this is true or not or just a publicity stunt? if she feels so strongly about it and it’s true why does she not report the Solicitor.

JD partner

I bet my house the client is from a minority background too.

Anonymous

I was once sacked by a client of Indian descent because our firm (though diverse) did not have anyone of Indian descent to represent him.

He found a firm who did have such a person and instructed them instead. He was perfectly amicable about it- “no hard feelings but I would be more comfortable being represented by someone who understands my background”.

Should we have informed the new firm that he was instructing them for that reason?

What would their proper reaction have been?

The client claimed that he thought that understanding of his cultural background was important.

Is it a diversity issue that should be accommodated if the person is from a protected group and wants to instruct someone from that protected group?

Genuine advice welcome.

Anonymous

The best advice about discriminatory instructions (as far as the Bar is concerned) is to be found here: https://www.barcouncilethics.co.uk/documents/discriminatory-instructions/

JL

We need trailblazers like her. Racism, recism, whatever the f-ck you call it, needs to be challenged wherever it happens. Kudos to Popal.

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

not named

You should be able to choose your barrister on whatever basis you want. What next; sexual partners…

Discrimination is life and life sucks balls

The Slough wizard

I have often fought discrimination from both ends of the spectrum. Sadly I was forced out of my former chambers by a mob of underperforming Immigration sadsters. Popal should hold her chambers to account

Stal-NO-ne

And harm her livelihood in so doing?

Cool advice, bruh.

Secret barista's espresso

I am a member of an ethnic minority. Whilst volunteering for an organisation that has a number of attention-seeking/”Won’t somebody please think of the children!”/virtue signallers, I was told by a member of staff that I HAD to prepare my tribunal case with a White male volunteer. She was worried about previous remarks my client allegedly made to an Asian caseworker and said she wanted to keep me ‘safe’.

In the end, the client was absolutely fine towards me. Ironically, it was the White male volunteer I was paired with who would eventually scream verbal abuse in front of clients and stalk me in the office begging me to be his ‘friend’ behind his partner’s back. Sadly, mediation cost the organisation a lot of money. I didn’t want that, but was told I would not be allowed to prepare tribunal cases without one. The White male volunteer was kept on; I have a new and happily much safer life now far away from him, his abuse and that staff member who was so concerned for my ‘safety’ as an ethnic minority.

This solicitor and that organisation’s staff member are one of many born without the ‘common sense’ gene. I feel they are also complicit in the racism minorities like me experience countless times in our lives because ultimately, they think they know better then the ethnic minorities do.

The solicitor thought he was right to ask Ms Popal to return the papers rather than explaining to the client where the law stands in reality on a client’s preference for skin colour. I don’t think the solicitor saw Ms Popal as an equal worthy of respect – she was simply a means to an end.

So whilst the solicitor may one day wring his hands in a Twitter rant on the reality of racism in the profession to garner ‘likes’ for his feed, he will never have the self-awareness to see he’s part of the problem. This goes on at the Bar every single day.

Money is thrown around and there is lots of patting on the back and retweets, but no-one to stand up in the name of honesty and say “Wait, why exactly do we have so few minorities in our chambers? This is embarrassing – action, not talking, is needed now.” Ms Popal is not wrong in thinking that yes, your skin colour does matter at the Bar and you will experience different treatment because of it.

I don’t propose to have a solution to racism in the profession. More people need to call it out when they witness racism and actually listen to what member of minorities are saying, rather than making assumptions on their behalf in the name of ‘virtue signalling’.

Anonymous

This is why we need the solicitors to be named and their response heard, otherwise we’re the ones making assumptions.

Anonymous

So it was listed now relisted? Can we find out who the client solicitors are?

Anonymous

Some interesting comments on here and other sites. I see the BBC has picked up the story. Lots of different views as to what happened and why. We need to know who the solicitors are and what their response is though before we can conclude much.

Anonymous

Let the SRA deal with it and they can name and shame.

I have worked for many firms and am an Asian female lawyer. I have also been on the receiving end of such behaviour. However, in my case, my boss spoke to the client. He asked them how they would feel if we judged them based on their race, religion, sexual orientation etc. He told them as we would never judge them, we dont expect to be judged. To cut a long story short, the client apologised, and I was asked if I wanted the firm to turn the client’s instructions down. I told them to continue to represent them. They were offered another lawyer. The client chose to go elsewhere but returned a 18 months later after their case was lost.

Anonymous

Nope, not for the SRA to do. Popal raised the story publicly and not via the SRA, she (or her chambers) should name the solicitors and have them respond. Otherwise you have no idea if your circumstances are the same and are just speculating. Which shows why the solicitors need to be named.

Anonymous

You mention a case where you experienced a racist client, but your boss managed to talk the client around and they apologised (although still went with a different lawyer). Although we don’t know the circumstances of Popal’s case, I would have thought that given your experiences, you would want to see a full discussion of what happened and the matter got to the bottom of.

Yet you suggest leaving it to the SRA to name the solicitors involved – we don’t even know if the SRA are looking at this, and you must know that even if they are, it would be some time, if ever, before the solicitors are named. Is it the case, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that you don’t want the solicitors to be named as you feel it might in some way end up with Popal’s allegations being looked at differently or in a worse light? It just seems that you don’t want the allegations looked into in a lot of detail.

Anonymous

Part of a comment in Law Gazette (not posted by me), I think this shows why its important the solicitors be named and the story fully understood. I feel some sympathy for Popal as this has resulted from a Tweet which was picked up, but people have reached vastly different assumptions about what happened here, and clarification is needed:

My, lay, view of this is that I would be unlikely to engage Ms Popal, because she seems not to have realised that she was opening the can of worms that the multitude of comments show was immediately recognisable to traders. Her only way of showing herself in a good light is the, I think unlikely, one of now providing the full facts. I also think there’ll be something dubious about the ‘accused’ solicitor if he doesn’t do the same. There’ll be no breach of confidentiality as the client won’t be named.

Anonymous

What should be done in the current case, given that discrimination against a barrister is unlawful, is an important question.

But whether the law is as it should be is also worthy of debate.

The general scheme of the Equality Act 2010, like the legislation it replaced, is to prohibit discrimination by employers against employees (but not discrimination by employees against employers) and to prohibit discrimination by service providers against clients (but not discrimination by clients against service providers).

Why this should be is, I assume, based on perceptions of vulnerability and unequal power relationships. There may be some small suppliers who are vulnerable because two or three large customers control 90% of the market, but in general we expect that it is customers, rather than suppliers, who need protection. Similarly we assume that in most cases employees need protection from employers rather than vice versa.

Barristers are self-employed service providers so under the general scheme of the Act would not be protected against discrimination by clients. The reason why barristers are covered is simply that there is a specific section of the Act saying that they are – as an exception to the general scheme.

Now one can think of some good reasons why this might be. In the early years when you are dependent on the distribution of unmarked briefs by clerks it can feel as if you are an employee.

But the subject is worthy of debate. After all, discrimination by clients against solicitors is perfectly legal.

Anonymous

A lot of people believe that the client instructing the solicitor wasn’t white. We need to hear from the solicitors involved. We’ve only heard half of a story so far.

Anonymous

Any update on this story?

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