Nick West fined £15,000 after exchanging sexist emails with a client
A Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) judgment has revealed the full extent of the sexist email exchanges between a partner at DLA Piper and a high profile client.
Nick West — a sports and media law specialist at the corporate outfit’s London office — was fined £15,000 last month after he accepted emails sent between himself and a senior staff member at the Premier League had breached regulatory principles.
The SDT has finally published its finding against West in full, and has revealed the exact contents of the — now infamous — emails.
According to the report, West responded to an email in February 2012 with:
How kluntilicious (and indeed how Kluntish of you to attribute your own preferences to me). I fear she will now prove to be a terrible anti-klimax.
In response to another email concerning the possible recruitment of a female member of staff, West wrote:
How Klunticicious to hear you in such stonkingly Kluntish form… If she is interested in the dangle of your dong.
In a further email exchange in August 2013, West wrote to two people — referred to only as A and C in the judgment — stating:
Nobody has more experience in foetus shopping than the stupendously fertile [job title] so I will leave it to him to advise you on such matters.
Two days later A messaged West, writing:
I had a girlfriend once called double decker… happy for you to play upstairs, but her dad got angry if you went below.
The report states the DLA Piper lawyer, in a further email exchange, told his client to “save your cash in case you find some gash.”
Accepting the emails were in breach of Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules, West told the tribunal last month that the line between client and friend had clearly become “blurred”.
In a somewhat bizarre twist to the story, the experienced lawyer claimed the use of the word “klunt” — and variations of it — was actually a reference to a character in Flanimals, a children’s book by comedian Ricky Gervais.
Describing the content of the emails as “despicable”, the SDT suggested that an experienced solicitor would have exercised caution before continuing to engage in such a manner.
Last month West was fined £15,000 and slapped with a £12,000 costs order.