Solicitor apprentice slapped with costs order after showing ‘complete and utter disregard’ for employment tribunal

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By Rhys Duncan on


£7,200 bill

A solicitor apprentice who failed in an employment claim after showing “complete and utter disregard” for the tribunal and her former law firm has been handed a £7,200 costs order.

Forzana Khanom, who filed the claim against London-based firm Mishcon de Reya, hit headlines earlier this month when her case was dismissed after she disregarded the tribunals orders in a “persistent, long-lasting, and egregious” manner.

The final straw appears to have come when Khanom failed to turn up to a case management hearing, only notifying the court 25 minutes beforehand that she couldn’t join the hearing “because she was at the airport about to board a flight for a family trip abroad to celebrate her birthday”.

To make matters worse, she has been handed a £7,200 costs order.

Having written to Khanom after her claim was dismissed asking her to make representations as to the costs application made by Mishcon and provide information on her ability to pay, an employment Judge Klimov said that she again failed to contact the tribunal.

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“I am more than satisfied that the Claimant has acted unreasonably in the way she conducted the proceedings,” Judge Klimovv said in a short judgment deciding the issue of costs.

“I am also satisfied that the nature, gravity and extent of the Claimant’s unreasonable conduct justifies me exercising my discretion and making a costs order against her.”

Continuing, he noted the apprentice’s continued lack of contact with the court. “In the absence of any representations from the Claimant I see no mitigating circumstances to sway my discretion in her favour,” the judge said.

“I considered whether it would be appropriate to make an award in the full amount sought by the Respondent. Ordinarily, I would have considered £7,500 to be a too high brief fee for a case management preliminary hearing, as to be awarded against the Claimant in full. However, the fee was incurred by the Respondent in anticipation that the hearing on 27 February would be the first day of a 4-day full merits hearing, which had to be vacated on short notice due to the Claimant being in persistent breach of the Tribunal’s orders and her ongoing failure to engage with the Tribunal and the Respondent,” the judge continued.

“The Claimant did not provide any information as to her ability to pay, despite being invited by the Tribunal to do so. Therefore, I have no “ability to pay” information I can have regard to in deciding whether to make an award and if so in what amount,” the judge added.

Concluding, he said that it was “just and proper” to make a costs order for the full amount of £7,200.


How much again?

It’s not clear from your article whether it was £7,500 or £7,200??


That’s because the figures in the judgment are inconsistent


Please let this be the final nail in the coffin of this “apprenticeship” fiasco. Apprenticeships are fine for the trades, where academic application is not required, but should not be the entry point for our profession.


Only joking, I’m just jealous because I’ve never had an offer of a TC or an apprenticeship. I actually work in a pub. Someone ordered a half of lager the other day and it was the wokest thing ever.


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


I wrote all four messages because I need attention

Not Alan

My brother in Christ, please seek help

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