City firm Latham & Watkins’s chief Bill Voge has stood down after admitting to inappropriate 'communications of a sexual nature’.

In a statement the firm said Voge has tendered his resignation as global chair and managing partner after making voluntary disclosures to its executive committee.

William Voge

Bill Voge

This, the firm said, involved the exchange of ‘communications of a sexual nature’ with a woman he has never met in person and who had no connection to the firm. The firm, which declined to comment further, said that although Voge’s conduct was not unlawful it was ‘not befitting the leader of the firm’.

Voge said in a statement: ‘It is with great sorrow that I step down as chair and managing partner of Latham & Watkins. I made a personal mistake for which I bear considerable fault and humiliation. I deeply regret my lapse of judgment and I am sorry for the distress and embarrassment I have caused my family, friends and colleagues.’

He added: ‘My conduct falls well below the personal and professional standards I have tried to uphold throughout my entire career. My disappointment in myself is all the more acute because this lapse does not represent who I am and what I believe, and because I have let down our firm and its people, all of whom I so deeply cherish and respect.’

William Henry Voge was elected to lead Latham in 2014 having previously practised as a US-qualified energy projects lawyer in the firm’s London office. He has been with the practice for 35 years. His profile still appears on the firm’s website though he is listed as a ‘retired partner’.

In its latest financial results Los Angeles-headquartered Latham, which occupies an office in Bishopsgate, London, announced revenue of just over $3bn - the first to achieve that milestone.