Lesbian barrister Allison Bailey claims employer 'crushed' her spirit
A lesbian barrister with "gender-critical" views has accused her employer of trying to "crush her spirit" and withholding work from her.
Allison Bailey has launched discrimination action against Garden Court Chambers (GCC) as well as the LGBT+ charity, Stonewall, which GCC had been working with.
In 2019, Ms Bailey founded the LGB Alliance, a group which argues there is a conflict between the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and transgender people - and opposes many Stonewall policies.
She also claims she lost work and income due to GCC's involvement with Stonewall's Diversity Champions scheme, which she has said was "exclusive" and "discriminatory" of her beliefs.
Giving evidence to an employment tribunal, taking place via videolink in central London, the criminal defence barrister said that in 2019, she felt she was "offered inferior brief after inferior brief" and she felt she was being blocked from doing more substantial cases.
Clerks for GCC have said they did not withhold instructions to Ms Bailey or try to reduce the quality of the work she was offered, the tribunal has heard. They say they worked hard together to get her work and keep her in court and there was no attempt to make her face a reduced income in 2019.
However, Ms Bailey, who claimed that clerking "materially changed" in 2019, recalled a period where she was offered two and three-day trials.
Ms Bailey told the hearing that the way a firm could try to move someone out of chambers is that "you break their spirit".
She added: "You make it clear that a barrister has no future in chambers. There is going to be no active practice development for them.
"There is going to be no care given in developing their practice. The message I got which was frankly spirit-crushing."
Tags: Allison Bailey
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