Baker McKenzie calls on Simmons & Simmons to review its handling of sex assault claim

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Victim reportedly received a payout and entered into a confidentiality agreement

Global outfit Baker McKenzie has drafted in Simmons & Simmons to conduct an independent external review into the way it responded to an allegation of sexual assault against one of the firm’s partners.

Earlier this month, an unnamed Bakers partner hit headlines when an alleged sexual assault against a female associate came to light. The incident — which occurred several years ago — resulted in the associate receiving a payout from Bakers and entering into a confidentiality agreement before leaving the firm, according to weekly legal blog RollOnFriday.

Now, Bakers has instructed City outfit Simmons to examine its handling of the subsequent investigation. A Baker McKenzie spokesperson said:

“Baker McKenzie has appointed Simmons & Simmons to conduct an independent review of this incident and how it was subsequently handled. The review will also look at and review all our complaints policies and procedures to ensure our employees are protected and have a voice. We will follow the recommendations of the review and will take all appropriate action.”

The spokesperson added: “As a firm, our values of inclusion and diversity are extremely important to us and we are committed to ensuring the welfare of all employees.”

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The independent probe comes just weeks after the firm issued an apology over the way it handled the incident, stating: “We are really sorry this incident ever happened and we acknowledge we should have handled it better.” At this time, Bakers also revealed the partner at the centre of the scandal was set to leave the firm.

However, Bakers could still face regulatory repercussions. A spokesperson for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) told Legal Cheek: “Now that we’re aware of the issue, we will seek further information before deciding on appropriate action.” Bakers confirmed it was “in dialogue with the SRA on this matter”.

Regulated firms have a duty to report lawyers who they believe have breached the SRA’s code of conduct. Firms can also be reported, too.

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“weekly legal blog Roll on Friday” – ooh, bitchy.


Seems mud has been slung. Wonder what ROF will do in retaliation

Jamie @ ROF

Keep writing articles for Tom and Katie.




Shame they didn’t call us first, we’re experts in that sort of thing.




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


Surely the police should be the ones investigating this.


I think the firm wants to actually achieve a result. The police have proven that’s not in their investigative capacity.


You need a proof reader.


I wonder what happens if this review finds that the matter should have ended with the NDA and that the partner shouldn’t have to leave the firm…


The management is obviously culpable but what about the HR Director at the time…dont they take exams to become a HR person or didn’t they cover sexual harassment in class!

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