Indian-born claims 33 mln pounds for racial discrimination | world | Hindustan Times
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Indian-born claims 33 mln pounds for racial discrimination

An Indian-born barrister in the UK is claiming 33 million pounds damages for racial discrimination, accusing her head of chambers and his "overtly racist" legal clerks of conspiring to stop her receiving a string of high-profile and lucrative assignments.

world Updated: Oct 16, 2009 16:43 IST

An Indian-born barrister in the UK is claiming 33 million pounds damages for racial discrimination, accusing her head of chambers and his "overtly racist" legal clerks of conspiring to stop her receiving a string of high-profile and lucrative assignments.

Aisha Bijlani described to an employment tribunal a "racist" culture which operated behind the respectable facade of the award-winning Four New Square Chambers, where she had worked for 16 years.

"I was actively disliked by the clerks on the grounds of my race and origins. The senior clerk, Lizzie Wiseman, who was responsible for the allocation of work, was aware of the racist behaviour and general aggressive and abusive behaviour of the clerks towards members of chambers, but defended them and praised them so that they kept their jobs," Bijlani told the hearing at the Central London Employment Tribunal.

She claimed that the senior barristers also shared negative opinions of her based on her race. She said: "The senior clerk's extra-marital affairs with two consecutive heads of chambers, in conflict with each of their positions, speaks for itself," the Daily Telegraph reported.

Bijlani alleged that she earned at least 7 million pounds less than her high-flying colleagues during her time at the firm, blamed the clerks responsible for placing the work, who referred to black staff as "educated wogs."

She claimed three "overtly racist" clerks were assigned to her between 1994 to 2009 during her time at Four New Square.