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Clifford Chance is embroiled in a legal dispute with two French members of staff following accusations of psychological harassment in the firm's Paris office.
The two female non-lawyer employees, whose allegations are understood to include sex discrimination and anti-Semitism, worked at the Magic Circle firm's Paris office for 15 and eight years, respectively.
One of the pair was fired last summer on the grounds of performance. However, the firm's request to authorize the second dismissal, filed last July, was last week denied by the French Ministry of Employment.
The Ministry's ruling, seen by Legal Week, details a doctor's assertion that the employee could not remain at her post in Paris because of the difficult relationships she had with certain members of staff, but that she could potentially work in a different office.
However, the Ministry ruled that the firm, which gave her a new role at the same office, failed to make the necessary effort to find a suitable position for her.
The employee, who launched court action with a tribunal before the firm filed a dismissal request, will wait for the Ministry's final decision before taking further action.
Meanwhile, the former employee is set to plead her case in December, having begun court action last November.
In a statement, Clifford Chance said: "We believe these claims are without merit and we will be vigorously defending them."
The duo are represented by former Clifford Chance associate Avi Bitton, who heads his own eponymous practice in Paris. Bitton left Clifford Chance in 2005 and subsequently set up his own firm. He has his since taken roles on a number of French employment disputes involving major firms including Herbert Smith and Baker & McKenzie.