The Central London Employment Tribunal has now handed down its judgment in the employment claim brought by Mr Christopher Palmer against AIMS Markets Ltd (AIMS).

AIMS is pleased to announce that it was successful in its defence against the direct sex and race discrimination claims of Mr Christopher Palmer. Mr Palmer’s claim was that Ms Willis (AIMS’ group Head of Compliance and UK managing director) influenced the decision to avoid hiring him as a white man because he had found a podcast in which Ms Willis talked about diversity in Financial Technology (“FinTec”).

AIMS completely denies the allegations and has now been vindicated following trial.

The trial of the matter was for 3 days from 4 July to 6 July 2022. There were 4 witnesses for Mr Palmer including himself and 5 for AIMS. Our Mr Elliot Hammer was trial advocate for AIMS.

Both of Mr Palmer’s claims were dismissed by Employment Judge Lewis and 2 lay members in their judgment of 11 August 2022. The tribunal found:

An aim to have an organisation less dominated by white men in areas where traditionally that is the dominant profile, does not mean that there is an intention to achieve that objective by discriminating in recruitment against white men and in favour of women or minority ethnic candidates

(Ms Willis) was discussing the broader issues around barriers to equal opportunities specifically in FinTec… She is clearly engaged in diversity issues and has a level of passion about them…”

For all these reasons, taken separately and together, we find that the burden of proof does not shift and the claim for sex discrimination therefore fails. Had we found that the burden of proof did shift, we would have found that the respondent proved to us that the failure to appoint the claimant was in no sense whatsoever due to sex

AIMS prides itself on being a diverse employer. Its recruitment and selection process provides that it only recruits employees on their individual merits and abilities irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status, race, nationality, colour, ethnic background, religion, belief, age or disability and in line with its equal opportunities and diversity policy. AIMS maintains that it did so in Mr Palmer’s case, and it employed somebody who was more suitable for the position following interview.

Our Mr Elliot Hammer represented AIMS as advocate at the trial. Mr Hammer said:

“This was an important case for our client and for all organisations who are trying to ensure equality in their organisational structure. It vindicates AIMS hiring policy of building and creating diversity within their team. The claimant is a very experienced human resources professional. To try to prove his case the Claimant presented to the tribunal his secretly recorded interview. He scoured the internet for any ammunition he could find to use in his case and found a diversity podcast in which a managing director of AIMS talked about diversity recruitment in FinTec. The claimant served statements from 3 friends, one being a discrimination lawyer, to win. Organisations need to ensure that their recruitment processes, like AIMS, are robust and in line with equalities law. Branch Austin McCormick is pleased to successfully represent AIMS at trial, providing representation at all stages of the case”.

A link to the judgment below

For further information on the issues raised, please contact Mr Elliot Hammer (Head of Employment) at

Branch Austin McCormick LLP
32 St James’s Street