Barrister fired from London firm after exchanging sex contracts with colleague and spanking her on partner’s desk takes ex-employer to tribunal

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By Katie King on

Cambridge grad claims unfair dismissal

A barrister formerly employed by a London law firm is taking the outfit to an employment tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal, after he was fired for spanking a “very junior employee” on a partner’s desk, it has been reported. Robert Jones, 40, has instructed Slater and Gordon to represent him and the final hearing is listed for 16-27 July.

Jones was from autumn 2012 to summer 2017 employed at LEXLAW, a law firm based in Middle Temple. Jones had specialised in financial services litigation, corporate insolvency and general litigation while there.

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Also during his time at LEXLAW, Jones had “a consensual BDSM relationship with another employee”, he told legal blog RollOnFriday, “which included one brief incident in private on work premises” where he spanked a colleague on a partner’s desk while the partner was in court. The pair also reportedly swapped “sex contracts” via email, which contained preferences, limits and safe words. LEXLAW said:

“We can confirm that inappropriate workplace activities took place last year when a senior barrister sent a sexual contract to a very junior employee. In order to avoid damaging the reputations of these former members of staff we decline to make any comment other than to state that the activities that took place are as unacceptable in our workplace as they would no doubt be in any workplace.”

Jones, a Cambridge graduate, later handed in his notice to the firm following a salary dispute, he says. The legal blog reports that days after, Jones was told he would be suspended for his earlier conduct. He believes this happened so LEXLAW wouldn’t need to pay him during the notice period. He also thinks the firm breached data protection laws by accessing his private emails.

According to Jones’ LinkedIn profile, he was a first six pupil at Enterprise Chambers in 2006-7 then completed his second six at 9 Stone Buildings.

Jones, who studied maths at Cambridge before converting to law, now works as a self-employed barrister at Clerksroom. When approached by Legal Cheek, Jones declined to comment.

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