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DLA Piper stands by scandal-hit lawyer Nick West as he issues apology

Following a conduct review, DLA Piper has opted to stand by Nick West, whose sexist email exchanges with Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore were leaked last week, after the partner today (21 May) publically apologised for letting down the firm and its clients.

Like the Premier League, which resisted calls to sack its chief executive, DLA Piper will stick with media lawyer West following a conduct review. A spokesperson for the firm said in a statement: ‘We have concluded that there was a failure to meet the high professional standards in which we take pride as a firm, whilst recognising that these were emails exchanged between friends and accessed without permission.’

The firm has ‘accepted Mr West’s assurances that these emails are not reflective of his beliefs and values and that there will be no recurrence of this behaviour’.

An email exchange between West and Scudamore, which was contained sexually explicit and sexist comments about a female colleague of Scudamore’s – who the pair had nicknamed ‘Edna’ – was made public by Scudamore’s former personal assistant Rani Abraham.

West said in a statement: ‘I sincerely apologise for my actions. In sending the emails in question I let myself, my firm and its clients down. I have an obligation to uphold the highest professional standards and I give my assurance that this will be the case going forward.’

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Premier League told Legal Business that ‘Nick West is still one of our lawyers’ but refused to rule out changes to its outside counsel in the near future.

TV deals with the Premier League continue to climb and provide lucrative work for law firms. The last British broadcasting battle, intensified by the competition for matches between BSkyB and BT, pulled in over £3bn for three seasons from 2013. The Premier League has brought forward its next auction, for the season beginning with 2016-17, to later this year.