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#MeToo: Dentons launches investigation and puts partner on leave amid reports of sexual misconduct

With the recent #MeToo campaign shining a light on sexual harassment and misogyny across every industry, a Dentons partner has been put on leave of absence while the firm investigates reports of sexual misconduct made against him.

The firm confirmed one of 62 partners who joined Dentons from Maclay Murray & Spens after the firms merged in October last year ‘will not be attending the office while the investigation is ongoing’.

Reports of inappropriate behaviour were made against the partner at legacy Maclays about 15 months ago, but Dentons only became aware of them last week.

The firm said no formal complaint was made at the time or subsequently, but the partner was warned about his future conduct.

‘Dentons places huge importance on ensuring that we create a safe, open and respectful workplace for all our employees, and we are taking these reports very seriously,’ said a spokesperson for the firm. ‘Upon becoming aware of these reports, we launched an internal investigation and the partner concerned is now on a leave of absence.’

The firm refused to comment on how it was made aware of the allegations against the partner. According to RollOnFriday, which first reported the story, the firm suspended the partner after being contacted by the website about complaints made by a number of women about his inappropriate sexual behaviour at legacy Maclays.

Dentons would neither confirm where the partner was based, nor how long he will be absent for. The spokesperson added: ‘We will be making no further comment until the investigation has concluded and all parties have been informed of the outcome’.

Announced in the summer, Dentons’ tie-up with Maclays went live on 31 October, with the firm adding offices in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh and bringing its UK headcount to 800 lawyers, including 200 partners.

For further comment from senior industry figures about this issue in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, read ‘The last word: Speaking out’