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Exclusive: City law firm partner resigns amid Christmas party grope claims

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Winckworth Sherwood lawyer describes his behaviour as “not acceptable” in internal apology to colleagues

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A City law firm partner accused of drunkenly groping female employees at a swanky Christmas bash has resigned.

Legal Cheek can exclusively reveal that John Burnand — who until today was a partner at City outfit Winckworth Sherwood — has quit his top job amid accusations of inappropriate behaviour at the firm’s Christmas party.

According to a source within the firm, Burnand, having drunk “far too much”, proceeded to “grope” several female employees before being “escorted out” of the building. The alleged incident took place last Thursday at Southbank’s trendy Skylon restaurant (pictured top).

Winckworth Sherwood refused to comment on the accusations but did confirm to Legal Cheek that Burnand had “resigned”.

In an attempt to make amends, Burnand — prior to his resignation — had posted a grovelling apology on Winckworth Sherwood’s intranet. On Monday, addressing all staff, the corporate finance specialist revealed how he had attended “a business development event prior to the party and had drunk more than [he] should on the day”.

Continuing, he said:

I am very sorry for offending so many by my conduct. I know that this is not acceptable behaviour and must never happen again. You may rest assured that it never will.

The former partner — offering staff the option of a further “personal apology” — added:

I hope that you will forgive my conduct on the night, on my assurance that there will be no recurrence and I hope that it did not spoil what I believe was otherwise a very good evening.

However it appears it was too little too late, with Winckworth Sherwood confirming in the past hour that Burnand — who had been at the City outfit less than a year — has left the firm.

34 Comments

JP

Winckworth Sherwood – where all the partners’ winkies get wood.

(30)(0)

Anonymous

http://www.wslaw.co.uk/people/john_burnand/
Personal interests:
“John enjoys reading, travel, food and drink.”

(6)(0)

Fr. Burnand

Drink??? Feck!!! GIRLS!!!!!!!!!

(1)(1)

Insider

Rumours have it Jones Day immediately offered him a full equity position in the London office, citing something about ‘shared values’, ‘tumescence’ and ‘vascular contributions’.

(134)(2)

Anonymous

Damn you beat me to it!!

(3)(4)

Anonymous

I love the clear frustration in my fellow Anonymous’s comment.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Poor chap, he clearly just wanted to Sher his Wood.

(30)(0)

Tim

These Christmas parties go a little pear shaped sometimes, don’t they?

(4)(2)

Anonymous

Money for old grope.

(10)(2)

Anonymous

Feel sorry for him.

(5)(6)

Anonymous

Maybe he was FEELING sorry for someone else

(2)(1)

Gropey McGropeface

What a #LAD

(5)(2)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(7)(3)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

You would think alerting HR might have been enough for action be taken though?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

You clearly didn’t work at Faskens 😉

(8)(1)

Anonymous

I did, but SG was hamstrung by awful senior management, canada have to shoulder alot of the blame for the london office going down the toilet.

Art

So LC now censors information which people ought to know? Well done Alex.

(3)(1)

Fasken Alumni

So John Burnand is a serial groper then. I almost choked on my cereal when I saw this story this morning.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

John Burnand: Serial groper.

Fasken Alumni: Cereal choker.

(29)(0)

Random

Young female Staff: Burnand Pipe Smoker (?)

(4)(0)

Anonymous

He clearly wasn’t slapped on the wrist at Faskens for what he did in the taxi.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I’d let him grope me any day, sexy bastard.

(2)(2)

Johnny 'The Gourmand' Burnand

My place or yours? Oh baby u kno wot i lyke…

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Wherever you want babe, love has no bounds;)

(0)(0)

Lord Sumption (for the win)

I remember my Chambers Christmas parties fondly, old biddington on the piano and young gilo the pupil playing the sax it was really a splendid affair. Of course now I am in the SC its a tad dull, Hale is no fun and this year Hodge is in charge of the entertainment; rumour has it he is planning to bring Lord Hope out of retirement for an evening of comedy.

(4)(0)

Fr. Burnand

Fondling old biddies on the piano while a young gigalo has sax?

Where’d I put me reading glSses🏇

(1)(1)

Trumpenkrieg

Why doesn’t he plead the RapeFugee defence, i.e. that It was “sexual emergency”?

(4)(5)

Anonymous

Can you just fuck off and die?

(2)(6)

Trumpenkrieg

No.

(4)(2)

Rapscallion

Trumpenkrieg would be justified in feeling threatened and intimidated by such a comment.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I treated myself to trying to find out which University he let down, and which school.

Would we be amazed if I revealed it was Christchurch, Oxford ?

Nothing on whether he had a comprehensive education, or a narrow, privately funded one though.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

For the last 2 years until reading this story I thought Winckworth Sherwood were real estate agents

(7)(0)

Anonymous

That would be Winkworth Sherwood.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.