Law student recruited by solicitor after meeting at Playboy casino awarded nearly £30k by employment tribunal

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By Rhys Duncan on

‘Extraordinary’ case

A law student has been awarded nearly £30,000 by an employment tribunal after being recruited by a consultant solicitor she met in a Playboy casino.

The student, known only as BR, was working as a dancer at the club whilst completing her Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) part-time when she was recruited by consultant solicitor, AD, to work as his “personal legal secretary”.

After being invited to dinner by AD, she was offered a base salary of £14,000 per year, plus a bonus of 10% of what she billed and received, plus 5% of what the AD billed and received. Whilst the scope of her job was unclear, one role accepted by the tribunal was “to pick up clients at night when they visited high end restaurants and bars”.

She was also told that in her role AD was “God”, and she was “an obedient little slave creature”. This, AD said, was the only way she would learn and achieve her potential.

The now deceased solicitor did not, however, provide a contract or take any details to pay BR’s wages. The student worked either from her own home, or from AD’s house.

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In September 2022 an employment tribunal found that BR was employed by AD, dismissing a further claim that BR was an employee of the firm at which AD was a consultant solicitor. At the time, employment judge Martin described the case as “extraordinary”, saying that AD had “acted entirely inappropriately” towards the student.

In a more recent ruling, another employment tribunal found that BR had suffered unauthorised deductions from her wages (having not been paid for her work), a breach of contract in relation to being terminated without notice pay, a breach of AD’s duty to provide a written statement of employment particulars, harassment related to sex, and victimisation.

BR was awarded £28,986.85p in total, including £18,000 compensation for injury to feelings, nearly £5,000 in unpaid wages, and £5,000 interest.

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