The Solicitors Regulation Authority has confirmed the prosecution of a City lawyer alleged to have made unwanted advances on a colleague. The regulator has referred Geoffrey Howard Julian Critchlow, director at Critchlow and Associates Limited, to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, which has certified there is a case to answer.
The allegations are that, while in practice as the senior partner in what was then Al Bawardi Critchlow Solicitors, Critchlow acted towards an employee of the firm, identified as Person A, in a way that was inappropriate.
The charges state that, while in a wine bar, Critchlow touched Person A's leg on one or more occasion; and/or rubbed Person A's back; and/or kissed the back of Person A's neck; and/or rested his head on Person A's shoulder; and/or touched Person A's bottom in circumstances in which he knew or ought to have known that such conduct was not wanted or invited.
All allegations are unproven and subject to a hearing before the SDT. Neither the SRA nor Critchlow wanted to comment while the case was ongoing.
Critchlow was admitted in 1984 and is listed on his LinkedIn profile as a specialist in construction and energy law, primarily in respect of disputes. The profile notes that he lectures regularly on construction and arbitration related matters.
The case is believed to be one of dozens of alleged incidents of harassment being investigated by the SRA. Last year, the SDT said the regulator estimated it would be sending an additional 25 cases this year related to sexual misconduct, requiring an additional 81 hearing days.