Reed Smith has apologised for its handling of sexual harassment allegations against disgraced former Tory MP Charles Elphicke, a former partner at the international firm.

Reed Smith opened a review last month into allegations made by a former colleague’s of Elphicke in 2005. The review came after the former staff member told the Guardian newspaper that she left Reed Smith’s London office because of Elphicke's behaviour.

Tamara Box, Reed Smith’s Europe managing partner, said: ‘Following the conclusion of our review into how the firm handled allegations of misconduct against former partner Charles Elphicke in 2005, I am saddened to say that based on our findings, the manner in which the firm dealt with the matter at the time did not meet the standards that we set ourselves and expect today.’

Charlie Elphicke leaves Southwark Crown Court

Elphicke leaves Southwark Crown Court where he was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault

Source: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images

She added: ‘Our standards require us to fully investigate all concerns of this nature and take all appropriate action to deal with any concerns we identify. The firm’s response in 2005 fell short of this standard and, rightly, we have apologised for this.

‘We are confident that the firm’s current policies and procedures would not allow this to happen now, and we will continue to take all appropriate steps to ensure that our values and standards are met by all who work at the firm. We are fully committed to providing everyone who works at the firm with a positive and professional workplace.’

Elphicke, who represented Dover from 2010 until 2019, was jailed for two years in September after being found guilty of three counts of sexual assault against two women.