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Gender fluid inclusion within the legal profession
To mark Transgender Awareness Week (13 to 19 November) our LGBT+ Lawyers Division invited Robin White, Lui Asquith, and Imogen Hamblin to discuss implications of the recent Taylor vs Jaguar Land Rover case on gender fluid, non-binary and transgender inclusion.
Taylor vs Jaguar Land Rover case
Ms Taylor brought her case in the employment tribunal against her former employer, Jaguar Land Rover Ltd, claiming harassment, direct discrimination and victimisation on the grounds of gender reassignment.
Ms Taylor claimed that whilst at Jaguar, she suffered difficulties in finding managerial support and using toilet facilities and was a victim of insults and abusive jokes made by other employees.
Jaguar argued that, because of Ms Taylor’s non-binary identity, she did not fall within the relevant definition of gender reassignment and therefore had no jurisdiction to pursue her claim.
The employment tribunal acknowledged that this was a novel area of law, before determining that Ms Taylor as a non-binary/gender-fluid person did indeed fall within the definition of the characteristic protected under the Equality Act 2010 – specifically section 7: Gender Reassignment.
Robin White (she/her)
Robin is a barrister practising from Old Square Chambers (London and Bristol). Her practice includes all forms of employment and discrimination claims. She acts for employers and employees.
In 2011 she became the first barrister to transition from male to female in practice at the discrimination bar. She lectures regularly on transgender law and has been described in Chambers and Partners as the ‘go to’ lawyer for such matters.
She represented the claimant in the case of Taylor v Jaguar Land Rover in which the Birmingham Tribunal ruled in September 2020 that gender fluid and non-binary fall within the protected characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’ under the Equality Act.
Lui Asquith (they/them)
Lui Asquith is Legal, Policy and Operations Director at Mermaids, a UK charity that supports transgender and gender diverse young people 19 years old and below, as well as their wider families.
Their job is to use the law and public policy to improve the lives of trans children in the UK, as well as work directly with the CEO to help improve efficiency operationally within the charity.
Prior to working at Mermaids, Lui practised as a solicitor in the north east of England, founded LAGLA North East (a professional support network of LGBT+ lawyers) and was the trans campaign lead and vice chair for the Amnesty International UK Rainbow Network Committee.
Imogen Hamblin (she/her)
Imogen Hamblin identifies as a cis-gendered lesbian woman. She is an employment lawyer at Thrive Law and specialises in discrimination claims. Imogen has recently joined the LGBT+ Committee of the Law Society, building on her previous work to raise diversity and inclusion across the profession.
Imogen is an ally and advocate on behalf of the trans and non-binary community.
Transgender Awareness Week
Transgender Awareness Week is marked in the diversity calendar from 13 to 19 November each year and is an opportunity for the community and their allies to raise awareness of trans issues, discrimination and violence whilst also celebrating individuals and their achievements.