Ex-Mishcon solicitor apprentice demonstrated ‘utter disregard’ for employment tribunal

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By Rhys Duncan on


Judge not impressed

A solicitor apprentice has had her employment claim dismissed after displaying “complete and utter disregard” for the tribunal and her former law firm.

Forzana Khanom, who filed the claim against London-based firm Mishcon de Reya, consistently disregarded the employment tribunal’s orders in a manner described by the judge as “persistent, long-lasting, and egregious”. She also failed to comply with orders on multiple occasions and neglected to provide evidence to support her claim.

Khanom wrote to the tribunal to give her reasons for not complying, partly blaming her former solicitors, her ill health and technical problems with her laptop.

However, the tribunal remained unconvinced, labelling this reasoning as “wholly unpersuasive and insufficient.”

The tipping point appears to have come when the tribunal canceled a final hearing due to Khanom’s “total failure to engage” with her case, replacing it with a three-hour case management session.

Despite this, the aspiring solicitor failed to attend the virtual hearing, emailing the tribunal at 9:35 am, just 25 minutes before the session was due to begin. She stated that she was unable to join “because she was at the airport about to board a flight for a family trip abroad to celebrate her birthday”.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Solicitor Apprenticeship Most List

The apprentice said, as noted by the tribunal, that she had instructed her former lawyers that she would be unavailable for the entire week when the hearing was scheduled. However, she still received communications from the tribunal leading up to the set date.

Dismissing the claim in Khanom’s absence, Judge Klimov said:

“The claimant showed a complete and utter disregard to the Tribunal’s process. She caused the respondent to incur substantial and unnecessary costs, and all that due to her failure to engage with her own claim. She took a wholly disproportionate time from the limited Tribunal’s resources, with at least six Employment Judges having to deal with her case at various stages. At the same time, she barely exerted any effort herself to progress her case. Due to the claimant’s unreasonable conduct and complete disregard of the Tribunal’s orders, the case is no further forward than where it was in August 2023.”

The judge also noted the impact of the final hearing, vacated at short notice, on both Mishcon, and other applicants “who have to wait longer for their cases to be heard”.

Judge Klimov added: “The claimant is an apprentice-solicitor. It appears she aspires to join this profession. Therefore, she who would (or at any rate — should) be aware of the importance to follow due legal process, and how she should conduct herself towards her opponent and the Tribunal. Her conduct of this case demonstrates the opposite of what could be expected of someone in her position.”

Mischon will be seeking a costs order, the judgment states.



This article should be circulated to each and every firm who is considering hiring apprentices as a warning of what the profession is getting itself into by employing these unqualified individuals. She did not even bother to turn up for her own hearings, imagine what would happen if it was for a client, with whom she was not as personally engaged.

Having the moral fibre and hard work ethic to get a degree should be the bare minimum to be a lawyer, end of story.


Massive overgeneralisation that all people aspiring to be solicitor apprentices would behave in that way, or indeed that people who happen to have a degree wouldn’t! You can easily get a degree in this country without “moral fibre” and with varying degrees of hard work.


Alan, I see you on every post about SAs and never said anything but you are completely ill-informed on the subject yet have the tenacity to comment uneducated opinions, at least have the moral fibre and hard work ethic to research the matter you are speaking about.

Apprentices do a degree while working 4 days a week on trainee-level tasks. Apprentices have the same level of training provided to trainee solicitors and as a trainee solicitor myself I am impressed, by the ones at my firm, hard work ethic and courage to enter the work world at 18. Furthermore, the recruitment process is extremely competitive and they undergo a long and thorough application process. One of the apprentices at my firm had offers from top UK universities (Durham Law!) and said the application process for the apprenticeship was far harder.

My law degree from a top RG university did not prepare me for my training contract and this is a common complaint from almost every graduate across every firm, it is the firm training that actually trains you for the job.

Hope this is helpful and I hope next time you don’t comment on matters you are wholly unqualified to comment on. End of story.


If it wasn’t so sad, and disturbing, it would be funny to watch the woke brigade come out in defence of someone who couldn’t even be bothered to defend herself.

I doubt that it’s true about someone turning down a high ranking university for an apprenticeship – these things are easy to say online with zero proof. In the unlikely event it is true, I strongly question who has been advising that young person, and would hope that a proper investigation be undertaken to root out the culprit who should face criminal sanction for setting back the career prospects of a vulnerable person.


You know someone has lost the plot when they start using phrases like “woke brigade”

Please go outside and touch some grass.

PS – if you read the responses, they weren’t defending the SA in question but the validity of SAs as a route to qualification.


couldn’t agree more!!

Immature and needing guidance

The SA in question sounds like a school leaver who hasn’t given much thought to career choice and who has failed to appreciate the seriousness of making claims against another party and the legal significance.

Sounds like school pupil excuses for not having done homework and leaving everyone else to be responsible for the mess created.

SA needs to mature and learn from this experience. And to look at whether this is the right choice of career – this event will likely have dented their chances of qualifying now anyway!

Actions have consequences. You can’t start claims and not engage. If you ignore what you’re supposed to do, it will come back to bite you. You can’t have your head in the sand. This isn’t school anyway. That’s the lesson the SA needs sadly.

Employment Junior

So, so foolish. Now she’s likely to be hit with a costs award worth a year or two of university debt, for nothing.


Basically, FA and FO


Exactly the reason why apprentices should be outlawed. An 18 year old who has never had to stand on their own two feet should not be let loose on the legal profession. The woke mob try and say otherwise, citing fictional examples and crying foul, but this point has yet to be adequately addressed.


How do you know their age? Does it say in the judgment? For all we know this person is a career changer.

Archibald O'Pomposity

Possible but unlikely.

Best excuse ever

“Despite this, the aspiring solicitor failed to attend the virtual hearing, emailing the tribunal at 9:35 am, just 25 minutes before the session was due to begin. She stated that she was unable to join ‘because she was at the airport about to board a flight for a family trip abroad to celebrate her birthday’.”

Hahahahaha you have to respect the boldness, really


No, you don’t.


Don’t you?

Soar to new heights

The Judge here, Judge Klimov reportedly said:

‘ “The claimant showed a complete and utter disregard to the Tribunal’s process..’

Those who have done work in the ET know that tribunals are known to flex compliance with rules or deadlines somewhat (within reason) and far more so where it is a litigant in person, which from the sounds of things, this person was.

It must therefore have been a whole new level of p*ss taking for a Judge to make that particular observation.

Raising the bar, this one.

Imagine, if that was their behaviour at a tribunal, what would their normal attitude have been on the apprenticeship, whilst at the firm and whilst studying? @Mishcon – how they did get taken on in the first place?!

Employment Junior

Can confirm – this is excoriating stuff and definitely beyond the norm.

Archibald O'Pomposity

I see a lot of indignant responses to “Alan” in the comments to this piece. I suggest not feeding the troll.

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