Former student must pay CoL's court fees

updated on 28 February 2012

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a former College of Law (CoL) student must pay the educator's £10,500 costs incurred in defending a disability discrimination claim. The claim was brought by former CoL student Justin Burke over the CoL's examination provision, and has been rejected by the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal before its latest hearing at the Court of Appeal.

The court heard how Burke had wanted to make alternative arrangements to sit his LPC exams at his home in Brighton rather than at the CoL's site in Guildford, on account of his suffering from multiple sclerosis. The CoL refused but instead offered to pay for Burke's accommodation at the Guildford YMCA during his exam period. As reported in The Lawyer, Burke's barristers submitted that better accommodation should have been found and that the CoL had breached the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, now the Equality Act 2010.

However, it was found that the CoL's multiple concessions to Burke, including 60% more time to complete the exam and the provision of his own room, were more than sufficient to constitute reasonable adjustment for Burke's requirements. Burke has therefore been ordered to pay the CoL's counsel brief fees, but not the costs of the in-house lawyers who prepared the case.