Legal News

U.K. Supreme Court Upholds Rights of Law Firm to Enforce Compulsory Retirement
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

On Wednesday, the U.K. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge by a retired partner against a law firm forcing him to retire compulsorily at the age of 65. The U.K. Supreme Court, unlike the law in U.S., held that the law firm was entirely within its rights to enforce compulsory retirement based upon age. While dismissing the appeal by Leslie Seldon in the landmark case of Seldon v. Clarkson Wright & Jakes, however, Justice Hale warned employers that they should carefully consider their policies. She said “There is … a distinction between justifying the application of the rule to a particular individual, which in many cases would negate the purpose of having a rule, and justifying the rule in the particular circumstances of the business. All businesses will now have to give careful consideration to what, if any, mandatory retirement rules can be justified.”

Regardless of warnings and all, the crux of the matter is that the dismissal of the appeal by the U.K. Supreme Court strengthens the arms of law firms in U.K. law firms to manage their partnerships by compulsory retirement policies.

The ruling laid to rest a legal battle that started in 2007 when Seldon, a partner of Clarkson Wright & Jakes claimed that creating a compulsory retirement age of 65 meant age discrimination. The matter first went before the employment tribunal, which rejected the claim, and then the Court of Appeal, last year.


Seldon’s demand to be allowed to remain with the law firm as a salaried partner after crossing the age of 65 was rejected by the firm and now by the courts. However, the story would continue because despite its dismissal, the U.K. Supreme Court sent the case back to the Employment Tribunal to consider whether the choice of retirement at the age of 65 was discriminatory.

The question of law at issue was whether age as a condition of mandatory retirement constituted discrimination, and whether age can be considered under the law as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate business objective. Given last year’s legal abolition of the default retirement age in U.K, the case had garnered extra attention from the public.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!



Civil Litigation Case Manager

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Tenants Law Firm seeks to add a Case Manager to its Litigation team, which works on various housing ...

Apply now

Civil Litigation Paralegal

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Position Description: Tenants Law Firm seeks a paralegal to work with its Litigation team, which ...

Apply now

100% Remote Civil Litigation Attorney (Flexible Schedules)

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Tenants Law Firm is looking to hire experienced Civil Litigation ATTORNEYS to work 100% re...

Apply now



Galloway\'s Dallas Office is seeking a Paralegal. Tasks include but not limited to conducting p...

Apply now




Search Now

Venture Capital Attorney

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks corporate business attorney with...

Apply Now

Real Estate Attorney

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks transactional real estate attorn...

Apply Now

Experienced Health Care Attorney


Portland office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm is seeking health care attorney with 5-...

Apply Now


To Top