Top Nottingham lawyer found not to have discriminated against pregnant employee

Ash Bhatia

Ash Bhatia, the boss of Nottingham law firm Bhatia Best, did not discriminate against a pregnant paralegal who was later sacked by his firm, it has been found.

A Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal panel exonerated Bhatia of the charge brought by the Solicitors Regulations Authority (SRA), that he had allegedly discriminated against Elaina Brown by treating her unfairly in 2017 because she was at the time pregnant, but did agree that he didn’t notify the SRA of an employment tribunal decision that was brought by Brown in 2019.

Best was reprimanded on that charge yesterday (March 29) and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

Gregory Treverton-Jones KC, who was representing Bhatia, said: “This non-reporting is at the bottom of the scale. There was plainly no intent to conceal throughout, because you have the management board minutes and the matter was publicised in the local press. It wasn’t as if this was concealed from the SRA deliberately. The proper sanction would be a modest fine for an offence of this sort”.

On Monday, Treverton-Jones had said Bhatia was “keen to get the investigation finished” and that it was “him and his side who are interested in getting to the truth”. He added that the proceedings had come at “massive expense” to Bhatia and it would it be “almost more than he could bear” if the tribunal was adjourned again.

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