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Law firm ordered to compensate transgender client after ‘using her birth name’

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Incident had ’emotional impact’ on complainant, Legal Ombudsman finds

A law firm has been ordered to compensate a transgender client after it referred to her by her birth name.

The law firm is understood to have misnamed the client “throughout a long letter” assessing the strength of a claim, according to a decision by the Legal Ombudsman. The finding came despite it acknowledging that “the firm had asked her how she wished to be addressed and there was nothing to show she had responded to this”.

Details of the case emerged over the weekend after a member of staff at the Legal Ombudsman, the industry watchdog which assesses complaints about legal service providers, became concerned it was “pursuing an ideological agenda”, talkRADIO reports.

Quoting the Ombudsman’s finding, the report states: “The firm then chose to refer to the complainant using her birth name throughout a long letter assessing her claim. Following that, she phoned the firm to say she felt disrespected.” The Ombudsman initially sided with the law firm, concluding that its behaviour was “reasonable”, but the ruling was later overturned on appeal.

The Ombudsman’s guidance went on to quote from Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a US-based media monitoring organisation: “When a transgender person has transitioned and is living their life as their authentic self — that is their truth. The world now sees them as who they truly are.”

A spokesperson for the Legal Ombudsman said it “determined that the approach taken and the comments made by the firm were not reasonable, as they did not demonstrate an understanding of the issues faced by their client, or their circumstances.”

They continued: “The decision concluded that the firm should pay the complainant compensation to recognise the emotional impact of their service failing and recommended that they consider their approach, procedures and knowledge in relation to transgender matters.”

The Equality Act 2010 protects those who identify as transgender from being discriminated against unfairly, being targeted or harmed.

Welcoming the Ombudsman’s decision, the complainant, who hasn’t been named, said: “Thank you so very much for your understanding around trans issues and the journey that I am on. I wish more people were like you.”

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62 Comments

Anonymous

Wait. The law firm asked her how she’d like to be referred to and she never responded?

(67)(2)

Tipsy Terfy

Yup- the firm are expected to be psychic where protected characteristics are concerned.

He has an XY chromosome.

Therefore he is male.

Why are we expected to recognise something that is not an objective, biological truth?

Also, i expect this post to be deleted as there is a culture of “No Debate” around this highly controversial topic.

(68)(16)

Anonymous

…Sex ≠ Gender

(12)(24)

Anonymous

Such a nonsense argument. You’ve just co-opted a word to make the ideology work. You can do that with anything.

Age does not equal Maturity
Height does not equal Size
Weight does not equal Heft

Biologically I’m a 260 pound 46 year old at a regal 5’7, but actually I identify as a 200 pound 6’2 25 year old. Please respect my identified Maturity/Size/Heft/Gender and ignore my Age/Height/Weight/Sex. Or I’ll sue you.

(50)(11)

Most people

^this!

Triggered Loon

This post is literally Hitler!

Anonymous

I must say, beautifully put, sir!

Anonymous

How dare you assume!

Bob

I identify as an attack helicopter

perceivedthreat

Unfortunately you don’t understand the terminology. Sex is biological, Gender is a physical perception of self. You are totally within your rights to perceive the gravitational effect of the earth on your body as being something different, but you’d have to find an agreed term which isn’t scientifically accepted as “weight” before you can attribute a value to it. “Cuddly” might be an option…

Ciaran Goggins

Nope. Anyway it is a dead name, not a birth name. All TERFs are targets.

(1)(6)

Anonymous

Yes.

Don’t you just love how the transfolk see actual physical violence against real women as a legitimate response to the perceived metaphorical violence of not being recognised as something that they “feel”.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

(21)(3)

Anonymous

I am what and ignorant pig?

You missed out the first insult.

It’s interesting how male bodied, XY chromosomed, penis possessing, testosterone pumping beings who identify as women think it is self defence to hit smaller bodied, XX chromosomed oestrogen-types for not recognising the ficton that they are all women.

Some transwomen are even on record as regarding Lesbians as transphobic for not wanting sex with “women” who have penises.

(18)(3)

Just Anonymous

To be fair, the quote is ambiguous. That quote is:

“the firm had asked her how she wished to be addressed and there was nothing to show she had responded to this”

I strongly suspect the Ombudsman found as a fact that the client did tell the firm how she wished to be addressed, and what it is saying above is that the firm failed to document her answer. Accordingly, since it was not documented, the client’s birth name was innocently used by the writer of the letter.

I think this interpretation correct because penalising a firm for using the wrong name when they haven’t been told which name to use (despite asking) is so obviously irrational and absurd, that I struggle to believe that anyone could make such a decision.

(15)(2)

George (Dec’d)

To the following:

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

Add:

Fiction is Truth.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

Why weren’t Greenberg Glusker invited to the Legal Cheek awards?

(8)(0)

Kronos

You can imagine our excitement when we found out that we had been long-listed for Legal Cheek’s ‘Best Law Firm Canteen 2019’ (sponsored by Gregg’s). It was the talk of all LA. The partners would speak of little else. Two transatlantic mergers and a 142-billion-Thai baht IPO collapsed because all we could think of were the Legal Cheek awards. Rosie Williams would be there! Rosie Williams!

We had the date in our diaries. Every single titan and titanness in Greenberg Towers was given the week off. We had the firm’s private 737 Max jet chartered and ready for takeoff. The WKDs were on ice, Carly Rae was on the stereo, and I had hired a top, top, top tie (tan coloured, of course) to go with my tuxedo.

But then, suddenly, we had an epiphany – a realisation so striking, it must have been divinely sent. We realised we could not give one single, solitary shit.

(47)(7)

Anonymous

The down voter has no sense of humor.

(3)(10)

Anonymous

Up to them what they laugh at, as far as I’m aware this is a free country

(4)(2)

Anonymous

You must either be very young or very old to think that.

Anonymous

Or in other words “Using his name”

(26)(9)

Anonymous

Yes!

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Difficult to comment without knowing what the law firm actually said in its letter. That said, it sounds a bit harsh if the client didn’t respond to a request asking how they wish to be referred to/named.

(19)(1)

Anonymous

Thought crimes like this should be punished with death. How dare they use someone’s birth name! How dare they!

(22)(9)

Anonymous

it’s not an ideological thing it’s basic human decency if we all call beyoncé beyoncé and call madonna madonna surely we can do so for trans people

(7)(27)

Anonymous

The claimant didn’t give the firm a prefered name… are they meant to be psychic?

(26)(1)

April Corbett

One might reasonably presume that the appropriate name could be deduced from the context of the matter. Moreover, didn’t the firm have its client fill in a plethora of forms at the outset, which, I suspect, would include the client’s current name.

(4)(5)

Anonymous

They’re so big they couldn’t fit through the door. Literal titans.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

2 + 2 = 5

(7)(3)

Anonymous

2 + 2 = 5, for extremely large values of 2.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

2 + 2 = 5

if

2 + 2 self-identifies as 5.

(19)(2)

Anonymous

Apart from the Salutation, where else in a letter to your client do you actually refer to their gender etc..?

One assumes that there were also other ‘service issues’ the Ombudsman shoved their beak into as well as this gender nonsense.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

FFS. What if they were unaware of a female client’s marital or indeed preferred status and used Ms, Mrs or Miss incorrectly, should they be liable too ?

(11)(2)

Anonymous

If you are unsure you should always go Ms, duhhh.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

But what if their truth is a delusion

(12)(5)

Infatuated of Tunbridge Wells

I wish I could change my name to Mr Katie King…

(11)(1)

Anonymous

I don’t get it. So the person hadn’t changed their name? But just wants to be called something else. And didn’t tell the firm?

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Presumably, their compliance checks brought up information that provided the client’s birth name. They then assume that’s their name. Some poor paralegal/trainee drafts the letter. It gets sent out after getting finalised by the lead fee earner. Chaos ensues.

I have a feeling the firm isn’t completely culpable.

(4)(1)

I’m Quite Right

FFS. We have to pander to the oversensitivities of snowflakes now? Compensation just makes things worse.

(12)(5)

Anonymous

Aren’t you the real snowflake for getting exorcised?

(2)(9)

Anonymous

Couldn’t agree more, make the firm apologise or undergo some training. Compensation is not suitable in this instance.

(0)(3)

Anonymous

People get my name wrong all the time and it pisses me off. Am I entitled to compensation, too? Totally ludicrous.

WrongName—MakeaClaim.com

(7)(1)

The Claims Persons-of-non-specific-gender

“If you’ve suffered a deadnaming incident in the last five years and it was someone else’s fault, you could be entitled to compensation. Call 0800 xxx xxxx now to find out if you can make a no-win no-fee claim.”

(17)(1)

Anonymous

Lots and lots of highly rated posts that suggest that XY chromosomes etc are biological fact have been exorcised without trace.

The thought police are out in force again!

(10)(1)

Anonymous

For those committed enough to have the surgery, I have no objection to them being recategorised and recognised in their new gender.

What I object to is a person with a penis being allowed into women’s private spaces such as toilets and changing rooms, and demanding the “right” to be treated as such because they “feel” like a woman today.

(11)(2)

Anonymous

So because they were born a woman in the man of the body, you demand they have surgery to be able to use the restroom they feel comfortable using? F*ck that.

(4)(17)

Anonymous

Er… yeah!

(9)(2)

Anonymous

People still riding the gender and pronouns type train. And the beta cucks pandering to them by supporting their ’cause’ to try and make themselves look better continue in their deep numbers.

Get a life bro.

(9)(1)

Comments are closed.

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