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Linklaters asks lawyers to disclose romantic relationships — if there might be a conflict of interest

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As magic circle titan launches harassment helpline

Linklaters has asked its lawyers to disclose personal relationships which could lead to conflicts of interest within the workplace.

The magic circle player said it now expects its partners, lawyers and support staff to discuss the existence of such a personal romance with “an office, group or practice head or HR contact” to ensure “any actual or potential conflict of interest” is properly managed. While stressing consensual relationships between colleagues were not prohibited, Links said the new guidance was about ensuring it acted as a “responsible business”, and that it is not simply “prying” on lawyers’ love lives.

Relationships where a conflict of interest is likely to arise would include, the firm said, “those between a partner or director and an employee/contractor or between people where they are in a direct reporting line or where one can unduly influence the performance assessment, career progression, promotion (including the partner election process), work allocation or remuneration of the other”.

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The elite firm has also launched an external “whistleblowing hotline”, which staff can use to report unacceptable behaviour including harassment, discrimination and bullying. The service, SpeakUp, is operated by an independent company and allows staff to report their concerns anonymously. On this, the firm said:

“When making a report, individuals do not have to give their name or contact details and once an issue has been raised a written report of concerns will be passed on to a small designated group of recipients internally to enable an appropriate investigation to take place. The report will never be provided to anyone named within it.”

The SpeakUp service is currently available to Links staff working in the UK, the Americas and Asia, and will be rolled out in other offices in due course.

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23 Comments

Alex

This is nothing new, all businesses do the exact same thing… or am I mad?

Anonymous

This is 100% standard in any business of any meaningful size

Anonymous

Penis?

Anonymous

*visibly perspires*

Not Amused

The relentless march of authoritarianism dressed up as “for our own good”.

Anonymous

I don’t think that this is dressed up as for the employees’ good. It’s clearly for the firm’s good, to manage conflicts.

Anonymous

Where do you draw the line though? Does it need to be an active and ongoing relationship? Do I need to disclose it if I give a partner a blowjob after completion drinks? Is it when I have sex with a trainee for the third time and we agree to go out for a nice Italian?

Anonymous

No that’s just called a performance review

Anonymous

How did I perform? Sorry that I couldn’t get it all in. I did try my best.

Anonymous

Penis??

Anonymous

Really? That’s the best you could come up with? Thanks for killing what could have been a hilarious thread.

F***ing future cilex over here.

Anonymous

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

Anonymous

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

Anonymous

The LC comments section needs to grow up

Anonymous

You need to loosen up, you big screw.

Anonymous

So, welcome to the internet. I can see you’re new here.

Anonymous

No, it’s what happens when everyone is allowed to remain anonymous.

Anonymous

Yah, that’s generally how it works around here. Seriously, someone get this newb a PLC practice note or something.

Anonymous

But doesn’t that evoke a certain artistic freedom – regardless of whether it is good or bad?

Anonymous

A certain Indian HR lady in our HK office did this

Anonymous

Anonymous complaints where the named person doesn’t get to see the report containing the accusation? Doesn’t sound fair on the accused, especially given the amount of false accusations which are made. People have a right to know who is accusing them and what they’re being accused of.

Anonymous

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

Anonymous

I would not recognise disclosing personal relationships to HR at any company. They do not act in employees’ interests.

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