Law firm Clyde and Co has recently been in the High Court to try to stop an ex-partner from bringing a claim of sex discrimination / pregnancy discrimination because she had agreed to an arbitration clause in her partnership agreement.
Although the relevant clause in her partnership agreement compelled Ms Winkelhof to refer any dispute to arbitration. But the High Court found that this could not apply to her employment claims. This was because the restrictions on contracting out of employment rights extends to any limitation on an individual’s ability to bring a claim. In other words the restrictions go beyond simply settling such claims (which needs to be by way of a compromise or COT3 agreement).
This case highlights an important limitation on arbitration clauses, which are common in many different types of agreement. Clyde and Co are appealing.