Law Practice

Clifford Chance Settles Sexual Pref Case


In a precedent-setting case in the United Kingdom, a London-based megafirm has reportedly reached a settlement with a former partner who claimed he was discriminated against because of his sexual preference.

The agreement, between famed “magic circle” firm Clifford Chance and former partner Michael Bryceland, is for an undisclosed amount. However, “experts suggest a claim would seek to mitigate lost earnings and future ones: for a magic circle partner, this could run into seven figures,” reports the Lawyer, a British legal publication. The case is believed to be the first sexual orientation discrimination claim against a British law firm.

Bryceland originally filed a discrimination claim against the firm in November, then later withdrew it in April and left the firm in what was portrayed as “a break from the law,” according to the Lawyer. He originally alleged both direct and indirect discrimination, contending both that the firm had a discriminatory culture and that he was personally discriminated against, as an individual, because of his sexual preference.

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