Barrister claims her 'boss' and his lover cost her £7 million earnings
An Indian-born barrister, who is claiming £33 million damages for racial
discrimination, has accused her married head of chambers and his legal clerk
lover of conspiring to stop her receiving a string of high profile and
Dr Aisha Bijlani described to an employment tribunal a “racist” culture which
operated behind the respectable façade of the award winning Four New Square
Chambers where she had worked for 16 years.
The barrister, who alleged she earned at least £7 million less than her high
flying colleagues peers during her 16 years at the firm, blamed the clerks
responsible for placing the work who referred to black staff as “educated
A tape was played to the tribunal where one clerk was heard mimicking a West
Indian accent and then describing a receptionist of Afro Caribbean descent
of sounding like she spoke “gibberish”.
Dr Bijlani accused Roger Stewart QC, a part-time judge and until recently the
head of chambers, and senior clerk Lizzie Wiseman of co-ordinating the
discrimination against her after she complained to them.
In a twist to the proceedings which could have come straight from an episode
of the television drama Rumpole of the Bailey it has emerged that Mrs
Wiseman, a mother of four, has now left her husband for Mr Stewart.
Their relationship has caused a mini-scandal in the usually conservative legal
profession as it has breached the convention that clerks and senior
barristers should not become romantically involved especially if they are
already married to someone else.
Dr Bijlani also claimed that Mrs Wiseman had previously had an affair with the
man who was head of chambers before Mr Stewart, identified as Justin
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