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Ex-Linklaters partner who sexually assaulted student intern at Oktoberfest party loses appeal

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Jailed for three years and three months

Munich 📸 Gerhard Blank

A former partner at Linklaters who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a student intern has had his conviction upheld by a German court.

Last year, Munich-based tax law specialist Thomas Elser was sentenced to three years and three months in prison for sexually assaulting a student intern after the firm’s Oktoberfest party back in 2014. As reported at the time, Elser’s legal team indicated he would appeal.

Now, German news website Juve reports that Elser has lost his appeal and will begin his sentence.

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On the evening in question, Elser verbally harassed his unnamed victim, before sexually assaulting her in the garden of a Greek restaurant. Intervening, ex-Linklaters corporate litigation partner Laurenz Schmitt punched Elser in the face. He was handed a seven-month suspended sentence and 150 hours community service in 2016.

Speaking at the time, a spokesperson for Linklaters said: “We have always been mindful that there is a young student at the centre of this case. That concern has guided our behaviour and priorities throughout.”

After Schmitt reported the incident, Linklaters launched an internal investigation headed up by then-London managing partner Robert Elliott and involving over 40 witnesses. Both Elser and Schmitt left the firm in 2014.

News of the failed appeal comes on the same day it emerged that Linklaters had gained an injunction preventing a former director from disclosing what he claims are examples of the firm’s “ongoing struggle” with women in the workplace.

On this, a spokesperson for Linklaters said: “We can confirm that the firm sought and has been granted an interim injunction in the terms set out in the judgement handed down by the court today. We cannot comment further.”

A full hearing on the issues is scheduled for next Monday, 11 February.

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22 Comments

Anonymous

Beast.

Anonymous

Where has the thread gone about Vardag??

Anonymous

Anonymous

Utter demon

Anonymous

Are you supposed to mention their surnames?

Anonymous

This info is already in the public domain. Laurenz Schmitt is a hero and deserves to be named. Shame how badly he has been treated by the justice system and his former employer.

Anonymous

Incel vs M’lday fedora hat-tipper nice guy

No one wins

Anonymarble

Why was Schmitt also sanctioned? Didn’t he stop the assault by punching Elser?

I don’t understand why he was punished as well. Maybe I am missing some details?

If anyone could please explain, that would be great!

Anonymous

Maybe some judicial process determined that punching somebody in the face wasn’t a reasonable or proportionate means of achieving the desired end?

Anonymous

Given thhe circumstances, punching was appropriate imo.

Anonymous

It’s a shame you’re not a judge in this case them lmao

Anonymous

Well 12.23, you clearly know more about the circs than the court that heard the case.

Anonymous

I agree, and I think it’s delplorable the Linklaters sacked him for defending a student from a predator.

Anonymous

Not sacking him would set an unfortunate precedent to punch every partner in the firm, with probably a 20% chance of avoiding any liability for “reasons”

Anonymous

Whereas not not sacking him sets the unfortunate precedent that behaving in an utterly unacceptable and odious manner towards a young trainee has a reduced likelihood of them suffering any principled retribution from such behaviour.

Linklaters are a joke.

[Insert full name, DOB, credit card details]

[Insert generic war/Hitler reference here].

Anonymous

Beast. Beast.

Anonymous

That’s what happens when your firm is made up of a bunch of sad, middle to old age homogenous creeps who are at least a few decades behind in their thinking. Their toxic culture should be fully exposed.

Anonymous

Careful. The Linklaters recruitment team are watching this site and jerking the knee at any slight posted against their “wonderful” company. They have TC on speed dial so they can have a moan about it.

Twats

Anonymous

Thanks for the downtick Linklaters HR drone. Your life sucks. Enjoy !

Anonymous

PS You are forever tainted by the fact that you recruited Dominic Raab.

Dominic Raab FFS…. 🤣🤣

Concerned third party

Linklaters got rid of both partners as they considered them underperforming. If they had considered them otherwise they would have done nothing or possibly given them interest free loans or other special deals notwithstanding their behaviour.

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