16 July 2008
Solicitor forced to retire launches age discrimination claim
In a landmark case, a former lawyer who was forced to retire at the age of 65 is claiming he suffered age discrimination.
Leslie Seldon, an ex-partner at law firm Clarkson, Wright and Jakes, alleges that his case is no less valid than those brought by people who claim discrimination on the grounds of race or sex.
He has lodged an appeal challenging a previous tribunal ruling that he was not discriminated against.
Mr Seldon claims he still had a valuable contribution to make to the firm and could have continued in his role for at least another five years.
He is being backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Age Concern, which aims to promote the wellbeing of older people in the UK.
Taking place at London's Employment Appeal Tribunal, the case will test the government's age discrimination law, which was introduced two years ago.
Clive Howard, employment partner at Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "The law is frankly a mess. We desperately need clear guidance on when employees and firms can forcibly require people to retire, and the criteria that should be used.
"Hopefully the Employment Appeals Tribunal in this case and the separate decision of the European Court of Justice which we are waiting for will provide it. Although do not hold your breath."