Barrister sues chambers for £33m over racism claims

A barrister who claims she was the victim of racism is suing her chambers for £33m.

Indian-born Dr Aisha Bijlani claims she was ignored for top court cases because of a culture of racism at Four New Square, the prestigious legal chambers in London’s Lincoln’s Inn.

Bijlani blamed “overtly racist” clerks for not giving her the same quantity of specialist jobs as her peers, and claimed that one clerk had publicly stated he “hated educated wogs”, according to a report in the Metro.

Bijlani claims she was never properly marketed by the clerks and was denied the opportunity of learning and developing skills throughout her career.

Over the 16 years she worked at the chambers, she earned £7m less than white barristers who joined at the same time, according to the Daily Mail.

The respondents in the case are three former heads of chambers – deputy High Court judges Justin Fenwick QC and John Powell QC, Roger Stewart, and chief clerk Lizzie Wiseman.

Bijlani alleges Wiseman had affairs with two heads of chambers and knew about her treatment but did nothing to help.

The hearing at the Central London Employment tribunal continues.

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