This is Leslie Seldon, a solicitor who was told to retire by the law firm where he worked just after his 65th birthday.
Leslie went to the Supreme Court claiming that making him quit at 65 was an act of 'age discrimination' but five Supreme Court judges, led by 67 year old, Lady Hale, said that compulsory retirement at 65 can still be lawful and the law firm 'Clarkson Wright and Jakes' which employed Leslie was entitled to set a compulsory retirement age for its partners, 'if there was a legitimate aim for doing so'.
'Legitimate aims' for a compulsory retirement could be :
* opening the way for younger employees to become partners.
* planning the future of the business by arranging in advance the time when there will be vacancies.
* restricting the need to sack partners who become too old to work effectively.
The Court said that employers needed to give particular consideration to whether a ‘public interest’ was served when telling anyone to retire.
‘All businesses will now have to give careful consideration to what, if any, mandatory retirement rules can be justified in their particular business.’
Although the Supreme Court judges said it was lawful for the Kent firm to have set a retirement age, it will fall to an employment tribunal to decide whether 65 was the right one.
All of this arises despite the fact that the law was changed last October to stop employers from compulsorily retiring workers at 65. However, business groups have argued that employers have been left in limbo, fearful of asking workers aged 65 or over to retire for fear of being accused of ageism.
Leslie later told the BBC that he "felt up to working" and his motivation in taking the case was financial.
His case was heard by Lady Hale and 4 of the other old judges below ::