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Hogan Lovells partner leaves firm after watching pornography at work

A Hogan Lovells partner has agreed to leave the firm after being caught viewing pornographic images on a work computer.

The firm suspended the partner in November last year and launched an investigation after the partner in question was caught by a lawyer from a window in Irwin Mitchell’s offices, which are next to Hogan Lovells’ base on Holborn Viaduct.

According to RollOnFriday, the Irwin Mitchell lawyer used a mobile phone to film the partner and sent the footage to lawyers at Hogan Lovells, who reported the incident to the firm’s HR team.

A spokesperson for the firm said:  ‘After our investigation we agreed that the partner would not return after their suspension period and they are no longer with the firm. This incident is not a reflection of who we are and the culture and inclusive values we stand for.’

Following the incident the firm has also ‘tightened’ its policy on the websites that can be accessed at work: ‘We didn’t block access to websites unless they represented a cyber security risk (e.g. they have malware on them). The nature of our work for clients sometimes means we need to carry out investigations in areas which require us to have flexible access. We have reviewed and tightened this policy.’

Law firms have in recent months been subject to increasing scrutiny on partners’ misbehaviour after several reports of sexual misconduct emerged in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Firms to see partners leave following complaints of sexual harassment include Reed Smith, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Latham & Watkins, Herbert Smith Freehills and Dentons.

Meanwhile, the Solicitors Regulation Authority is investigating Baker McKenzie after accusations that one of its London partners sexually assaulted an associate in 2012. After news of the incident came to light in February last year, the firm announced the partner would leave and acknowledged it should have handled the incident better.