A lesbian lawyer with “gender critical” views has accused her employer of trying to “break her spirit” and deny her work.
Allison Bailey has launched a discrimination action against Garden Court Chambers (GCC) as well as the LGBT+ charity, Stonewall, which GCC worked with.
In 2019, Ms Bailey founded the LGB Alliance, a group which argues that there is a conflict between the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and transgender people – and opposes many of Stonewall’s policies.
She also claims to have lost work and income due to GCC’s involvement in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions program, which she says was “exclusive” and “discriminatory” of her beliefs.
Giving evidence at an employment tribunal, taking place via video link in central London, the criminal defense barrister said that in 2019 she felt she had been “offered inferior brief after inferior brief “and that she felt like she was being held back from doing more substantial business.
GCC clerks said they did not withhold instructions from Ms Bailey or attempt to reduce the quality of work offered to her, the court heard. They say they worked hard together to find work for her and keep her in court and there were no attempts to deal with a cut in her income in 2019.
However, Ms Bailey, who claimed the Registrar “changed significantly” in 2019, recalled a period when she was offered two- and three-day trials.
Ms Bailey told the hearing that the way a company might try to get someone out of the rooms is that ‘you break their spirit’.
She added: “You are making it clear that a barrister has no future in chambers. There will be no active practice development for them.
“There will be no care given to the development of their practice. The message I received was frankly overwhelming.”