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Lawyer wins discrimination case

Lawyer wins discrimination case

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A lawyer has been awarded £123,000 at an employment tribunal after it was ruled he had been sexually discriminated against and unfairly dismissed when he was fired at the expense of a female counterpart who was on maternity leave.

Leeds-based law firm Eversheds made John de Belin, 45, redundant from his associate position in the property division in February last year after he competed with Angela Reinholz, 40, to be kept on.

Scores for Ms Reinholz were "unfairly inflated" during the redundancy assessment process as the firm were afraid they would be sued by her if she was fired while on maternity leave, Judge Jeremy Shulman said in his tribunal ruling.

Bosses used factors like absence record, discipline history and financial performance during the assessment but Mr De Belin launched a claim after being concerned by scoring in the "lock-up" procedure – used to measure the time between work being undertaken and the client paying.

Judge Shulman said the scoring system was "not within the range of reasonable responses" and, as a result, led to Mr De Belin being a victim of discrimination.

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