Global firm Baker McKenzie is to commission an independent review of how the firm handles sexual misconduct and other inappropriate behaviour, after it emerged that one of its partners had been accused of sexually assaulting a female associate.
In a statement today the firm said: ‘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. 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.’
The Gazette has asked the firm who is carrying out the review but is yet to hear back.
Last week, reports emerged on legal blog RollOnFriday, that a Baker McKenzie partner had sexually assaulted a female associate following an event. The firm reportedly paid the associate a cash sum as part of a confidential settlement. She then left the firm. The incident took place more than a year ago.
As of Friday last week the partner was still with the firm. However, the firm said in a statement today that he would be departing.
The firm added: ‘We are in dialogue with the Solicitors Regulation Authority on this matter. We are really sorry this incident ever happened and we acknowledge we should have handled it better.’
Last week, another City firm, Berwin Leighton Paisner, apologised after it was named as having provided legal advice to the disgraced Presidents Club while of its partners attended last month’s dinner at which, according to an undercover reporter, hostesses were subjected to groping and inappropriate comments.