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Discrimination Solicitors Leeds

In broad terms, discrimination occurs if an employee with a “protected characteristic” is treated differently or less favourably than another employee who does not have that characteristic.

“Protected characteristics” are defined in the Equality Act 2010 as:-

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

An employee does not require any length of service in order to commence a claim in respect of discrimination. This is a day one right. In fact claims can be commenced by individuals who are unsuccessful in applying for a role in your business if they feel that the reason is related to a protected characteristic.

Unlike unfair dismissal proceedings damages in relation to discrimination claims can be unlimited.

The most common claims we come across in this area relate to sex, race and disability discrimination.

An employer can discriminate against an employee in a number of different ways. This can be directly for example not employing an individual because they are a woman.

It can be indirect discrimination. An example of indirect discrimination may be a job advert with a requirement that only people six foot or above may apply. This may indirectly disadvantage women who as a group are generally smaller than their male counterparts.

Another form or discriminatory behavior is harassment which occurs if an employee is subject to an intimidating and hostile environment. The most common example of this is offensive jokes or banter in the workplace but often this claim arises as a result of how capability meetings are conducted by line managers.

Behaviours out of work for example; parties, away days or Friday night drinks, can also give rise to a claim if the event can be deemed to be in the course of employment. Employers can be liable for acts of employees and this is called vicarious liability. Individuals can also be named in proceedings and so liablity can be personal.

Victimisation arises if an individual is put to a disadvantage after for example raising a grievance about their employer/ line manager.

Employees have three months less one day from the act of discrimination about which they complain to commence a claim. An employee need not leave employment to commence a claim.

Discrimination is a complex area.

We can fully advise as to each type of discrimination claim if you are in the position of having to defend one. Taking timely advice is the key.

We can assist with ACAS Early Conciliation and if that is not successful we can draft a response to a claim which will give you the best possible chance of defending the claim. You will only have 28 days to lodge a defence when you receive a claim so remember to act promptly upon receipt.

We can take the stress out of this for you because its what we do every day. Rest assured that our advice will always be commercial and with your best interests in mind. We also provide in-house discrimination awareness training for our clients

For more information please contact us on 0113 322 9222 to speak to one of our employment law specialists.

Our Employment Law Team

Marie Walsh
Employment Solicitor & Workplace Mediator

Marie Walsh is a Director/Employment Law Solicitor & fully trained workplace mediator. Marie heads the HR & Employment Law team and has a wealth of experience in assisting businesses and individuals with a wide spectrum of employment law matters. She is also well known for her excellent work in the area of settlement agreements.

Andy Boyde
Associate Employment Law

Andy Boyde is a former professional rugby union player and employment solicitor. Andy qualified as a solicitor in 2015 and specialises in advising individuals, owner managed businesses and SMEs. Andy provides sensible, straight-forward and commercial advice to his clients.

Victoria Horner
Senior Associate, Employment Law

Victoria is an associate at the firm and an experienced solicitor in the Employment team. She provides expert practical advice and assists both individuals and Commercial clients. Victoria is approachable, reliable and straight talking.

Emma Cartlidge
Employment Law Solicitor

Emma has a joint honors degree in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of the West of England, Bristol. Emma has completed the Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Law in Bristol and the LLM Legal Practice Course at Leeds Law School.

What our clients say about Consilia Legal on


  • review rating 5  Received a really good service from Marie and the team including Emma, who offered valuable support throughout. I contacted Consilia following a recommendation from a union representative. Was given great advise through her trusted associate who offered an accurate and professional assessment. Marie secured a really good outcome due to her knowledge, perseverance, conscientiousness and genuine desire to try and get the best outcome on my behalf. A lot of genuine empathy and respect expressed and a brilliant negotiator. Very well informed, experienced and brilliant communicator. True to her word re costs as discussion was upfront and honest. Very reasonable rate compared to other firms. Would recommend to others Thank you very much!

    thumb Elaben Mistry Jackson
    5/26/2019

    review rating 5  I had to get a Solicitor a pretty short notice, and Andy was able to see me the same day. He made me feel very at ease and explained everything to me so I could understand it better. I would highly recommend Consilia to everyone Thank you again Andy for your fantastic advice and support

    thumb Kelly Rawson
    12/18/2019
  • review rating 5  Great service provided by Andy from initial contact all the way through to completion. Very helpful and knowledgeable and helped to get everything sorted out quickly. I would highly recommend.

    thumb liam miller
    3/06/2020

    review rating 5  Very professional and got the right result for me in a very timely abs efficient manner. Great service, good advice and an excellent result I couldn’t have got on my own

    thumb Jon Geldart
    5/23/2019
  • review rating 5  Honest , sensible and efficient advice given over telephone . Very impressed . Would recommend

    thumb alison purdy
    4/26/2020

    review rating 5  I would like to say a big thank you to Emma Cartlidge Employment Solicitor. She was extremely professional, friendly and polite and very thorough in her work. Emma helped me with my matter making sure to stay in touch and keep me fully informed at all stages. The service from Consillia Legal has been amazing. Everyone I have spoken to has been super friendly and so helpful including Matt on Reception and Victoria who I spoke to for initial advice. This is definitely a 5-star rated law firm and I would not hesitate to recommend Emma and her colleagues. A big thank you !

    thumb RAVINDER Heer
    1/09/2020
  • review rating 5  I could not have asked any more from Andy. He was really friendly and helped me through a very difficult time. He did not waist time, both to make sure we resolved the matter quickly but also to keep cost to a minimum. I’m extremely happy with his services.

    thumb Tatiana Sebastiao
    12/24/2019

    review rating 5  I emailed Sarah at Consilia and received a very quick response. Sarah agreed to call me the following day and called me at the agreed time so no waiting for the call! Sarah was fantastic, she offered great advice and left me feeling alot more positive and informed on my situation. I cannot recommend highly enough, professional and caring and highly informative. Thank you

    thumb kate Fricker
    3/26/2020
  • review rating 5  Marie and her staff have been very helpful. Marie had assisted me previously with an employment law issues so I had no hesitation in engaging her again. She helped me through an unpleasant job related matter when I was at a low ebb and feeling unable to fight my own corner. As before Marie gave sound, straight forward advice and took over the handling of communication with my employer until the matter was resolved. When I had to take action myself Marie was always there to consult if I was worried about something. I would thoroughly recommend Consilia Legal to anyone.

    thumb Amanda Keers
    6/24/2019

    review rating 5  Andy Boyde made the process straight forward and easy (Redundancy contract). I found him very knowledgable and was able to answer all my questions with ease. I would recommend the firm for employment matter.

    thumb Mark Timmons
    2/26/2020
  • review rating 5  Marie, Andy, Victoria and Emma were exceptional in their help, advice and support – all done with a non-nonsense super friendly approach. Really took the stress out of a difficult corporate employment process. I felt safe and confident in their capable hands, recommending them highly.

    thumb Sophie Webb
    6/03/2019

    review rating 5  Consilia Legal was recommended by a friend. Victoria provided excellent guidance in a timely manner. Would definitely recommend.

    thumb Alison Metcalfe
    4/06/2020
  • review rating 5  Marie Walsh is undoubtedly the best employment solicitor in Leeds, if not the whole of Yorkshire. I always knew this from her great reputation and she recently assisted me with a very complex and difficult matter. Marie handled the situation with a pragmatic approach and endless patience. I cannot recommend her enough - she is an absolute superstar! I also dealt with Andy Boyde in her absence who was extremely professional and great to deal with.

    thumb Bin Sparkes
    1/05/2020

Awards and Accreditations

Laura Clapton
Director, Family Solicitor & Mediator
0113 887 4672
0786 023 2975
laura@consilialegal.co.uk
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Marie Walsh
Director, Employment Solicitor & Mediator
0113 887 4670
07736 252 681
marie@consilialegal.co.uk
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Emma Cartlidge
Employment Law Solicitor
0113 887 4674
ecartlidge@consilialegal.co.uk
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Andy Boyde
Associate Employment Law Solicitor
0113 322 9222
a.boyde@consilialegal.co.uk
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Victoria Horner
Senior Associate, Employment Law
0113 887 4673
vhorner@consilialegal.co.uk
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