News

Baker McKenzie partner at centre of sexual assault scandal will be leaving the firm

By on
22

As firm admits ‘we should have handled it better’

Baker McKenzie has confirmed that a partner at the centre of a sexual assault scandal is set to leave the firm.

The unnamed partner hit headlines last week when an alleged sexual assault against a female associate came to light. The incident reportedly occurred after the partner in question invited a number of lawyers, including the victim, back to his hotel for drinks.

Following an investigation it is understood the victim received a “significant” cash sum and entered into a “confidential settlement” before leaving Bakers, according to weekly blog RollOnFriday. The partner remained at the firm.

The 2018 Firms Most List

Until now, anyway. Bakers has today confirmed that the partner is set to leave the firm. A spokesperson said:

“The partner is no longer in the office and will be leaving the firm.”

The City outfit has also apologised for how it handled the investigation and said it will be launching an independent review into the alleged incident. The spokesperson continued:

“As a firm, our values of inclusion and diversity are extremely important to us and we are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all employees. That is why we are commissioning an independent review of this particular incident and how it was subsequently handled by the firm. The review will also consider how we handle complaints of sexual misconduct and other inappropriate behaviour toward colleagues, to ensure we are guaranteeing the protection of our employees. We are really sorry this incident ever happened and we acknowledge we should have handled it better.”

There is also the possibility of regulatory action here. 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.” The firm has said: “We are in dialogue with the SRA on this matter.”

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

Comments on this article are now closed.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

22 Comments

Ciaran Goggins

Hand on lower back was it? Fiend.

(2)(23)

Anonymous

I will be eagerly awaiting the update on Companies House.

(17)(0)

Anonymous

what kind of information will you get on this story from companies house? how do you go about getting it?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

As this person is a Partner, he will be listed at Companies House. Once his appointment is terminated, companies house records will need to be updated and as Baker and McKenzie is an LLP, this information can be found at:
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/OC311297/filing-history?page=2

(17)(0)

Anonymous

If you need to ask, you’re either very inexperienced or a bit clueless.

All LLPs have to file details of who their members are, and B&M’s filings are here:

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/OC311297/filing-history

Looking won’t take you very far – a firm of that size has lots of people joining and leaving, so suggesting that any particular individual shown as leaving might be the person referred to in the story is a very dangerous and possibly a very costly assumption to make.

(14)(1)

Anonymous

I think it’s sufficient to set off the inquisitive nature of a person and with so much information available online, it’s only a matter of time.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

i think you are a bit inexperienced and clueless and a bit of a gimp

(5)(1)

anon

all partners are listed on companies house…watch the list

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I’m always being bent over by the partners. Does that count?

(1)(3)

Anonymous

Not if you enjoy it

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Welcome to the future.

Where people don’t meet their partner in the one place they spend all their time – work.

Where no one has any sex, ever, at all.

Unbelievable.

(16)(5)

Anonymous

You can only meet a sexual partner in the work place? If that’s actually the case, I don’t think sex was a big issue for you in the first place.

Go back to stealing the PA’s used tissues, you lizard.

(2)(3)

Legna & Lived

I commented on the previous article on how an example needs to be made of this partner and I am glad he is leaving. The fact that the firm reported the issue but did not disclose what he actually did is due to the Non disclosure settlement agreement. So for all those thinking he got sacked fro just inviting them, think again. If that was the case, everyone he invited would be eligible to report and settle. Also, alcohol seems to be a possible factor in all this. Bottom line, the point is that people needs to stop accepting crap and assault and put people in the place.

(5)(3)

Anonymous

There’s a point there generally, but I would guess in this specific example it is wide of the mark.

I’ve really enjoyed your company tonight, it would be great if you would stay the night with me after the others have gone.

Er, no I’d rather not. I’ve enjoyed it too but I’ll be going soon with them.

The partner could have tried that and stopped there. He will be in his thirties, if not older.

If it was a large sum of money one can speculate that he stripped off in front of her, drunk, and then got annoyed when she did not reciprocate.

He possibly then denied it and the firm accepted his denial but paid out on the basis of no liability when the woman got legal advice from another firm.

What I cannot piece together is how it has got another lease of life with a falling axe to boot. Any ideas anyone ?

(1)(3)

Anonymous

B&M initially said it was a “relatively minor” assault. It doesn’t seem fair that B&M should fire him several years later after promoting him in the intervening period: if his behavior justified dismissal for gross misconduct, this should have happened at the time. Will B&M now give him a reference so he can move to another firm? If he doesn’t declare the matter in an application for a new post and it subsequently comes to light, will that justify dismissal again? Murky situation.

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

(7)(1)

Anonymous

police matter?

(0)(3)

Anonymous

Nah, work place harassment like this would probably fair better at a civil burden of proof.

(0)(0)

Anon

Pandering to the mob

(4)(2)

Anonymous

Wheres Jones Day Partner, be interested to hear his views?

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Too busy with his trainee I should imagine!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Awful, he should not be sacked after B&M said it was a minor offence. Looks like the girl took the gagging money and blurted too.

(4)(4)

Anonymous

The firm essentially admitted they were wrong in the first place by stating that they had not handled this case very well.

I think firms are starting to realise that making up sexually aggressive knobs with alcohol dependency issues to partner is perhaps not the best idea. Hard to break tradition, but it’s slowly happening.

(3)(1)

Comments are closed.

Related Stories