Herbert Smith Freehills partner reported to SRA for threatening sexual harassment claimant

Herbert Smith Freehills partner reported to SRA for threatening sexual harassment claimant

A woman who filed a sexual harassment case against her employer was allegedly told by a Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) lawyer the case would end her career.

City finance associate Nathalie Abildgaard was awarded £270,000 in April after settling a sexual harassment case against her employer IFM Investors. However Abilgaard wrote in a submission to the Women and Equalities Committee a HSF lawyer had engaged in ‘aggressive and intimidating behaviour.’ Continue reading “Herbert Smith Freehills partner reported to SRA for threatening sexual harassment claimant”

At best, murky: MPs slam ‘legally sanctioned secrecy’ of gagging orders in discrimination cases

At best, murky: MPs slam ‘legally sanctioned secrecy’ of gagging orders in discrimination cases

A parliamentary select committee has condemned the ‘routine cover-up’ of discrimination allegations by employers as calls for a clampdown on non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) reach a new pitch.

The report by the Women and Equalities Committee on discrimination and harassment in the workplace, published today (11 June), is the culmination of an enquiry launched by MPs in the wake of the #MeToo movement that saw the legal profession’s handling of gagging orders thrown into the spotlight. Continue reading “At best, murky: MPs slam ‘legally sanctioned secrecy’ of gagging orders in discrimination cases”

Slater and Gordon’s £637m Quindell claim to be heard in October

Slater and Gordon’s £637m Quindell claim to be heard in October

The saga of Slater and Gordon’s (S&G) ill-fated Quindell acquisition is set to intensify with the national firm’s £637m claim headed to court in October.

The case against Watchstone, formerly Quindell, sees S&G seeking to recoup the cost of acquiring the professional services division in 2015. S&G issued its claim in June 2017 for breach of warranty and/or fraudulent misrepresentation for the whole amount paid. Continue reading “Slater and Gordon’s £637m Quindell claim to be heard in October”

‘Mealy mouthed’ – Law Society draws fire for ethically ‘weak’ guidance on #MeToo gagging deals

‘Mealy mouthed’ – Law Society draws fire for ethically ‘weak’ guidance on #MeToo gagging deals

The #MeToo debate continues to garner stories with a legal slant as the Law Society’s recent practice note on the use of legal gagging contracts has been criticised for being vague to the point of unethical.

Crispin Passmore, the former executive director of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), this week slammed The Law Society’s practice note on non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in sexual harassment cases, calling for the guidance to be scrapped altogether. Continue reading “‘Mealy mouthed’ – Law Society draws fire for ethically ‘weak’ guidance on #MeToo gagging deals”

CMS dismisses City IP head and reports to watchdog as scrutiny of partner conduct grows

CMS dismisses City IP head and reports to watchdog as scrutiny of partner conduct grows

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang’s former head of IP Joel Barry has been asked to leave its partnership in a matter that has been reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

In the latest senior dismissal to hit City law amid increasing scrutiny of partner behaviour, CMS terminated Barry’s appointment on 16 April. CMS declined to comment on the reasons for the move, responding to a request for comment as follows: ‘We can confirm that a partner has been asked to leave the firm and will not be commenting further.’ Continue reading “CMS dismisses City IP head and reports to watchdog as scrutiny of partner conduct grows”

SRA releases full allegations against Freshfields partner Beckwith

SRA releases full allegations against Freshfields partner Beckwith

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today (3 May) published the full list of its allegations against Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Ryan Beckwith.

In the published allegations, which follow a case management hearing at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) last week, Beckwith – who has been placed on indefinite leave by Freshfields – is alleged to have attempted to engage in sexual activity with an intoxicated junior member of staff in an abuse of seniority at an event organised by the firm. Continue reading “SRA releases full allegations against Freshfields partner Beckwith”

SDT pushes for lower standard of proof in serious conduct cases but claims won’t lead to ‘easier’ prosecutions

SDT pushes for lower standard of proof in serious conduct cases but claims won’t lead to ‘easier’ prosecutions

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has announced its intention to move from a criminal to a civil standard of proof but has ruled out the possibility of it leading to ‘easier prosecutions.’

Subject to approval from the Legal Services Board, which should be finalised in the next few weeks, the SDT wants the new rules to come into force on 25 November 2019, to coincide with the date the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) new guidelines come into play. Continue reading “SDT pushes for lower standard of proof in serious conduct cases but claims won’t lead to ‘easier’ prosecutions”

Sponsored briefing: Reputation management – who to call in a crisis

Sponsored briefing: Reputation management – who to call in a crisis

Gus Sellitto of Byfield Consultancy discusses the trends he is seeing in legal PR and the role of external advisers

When someone’s in trouble, they call their lawyer, but who do lawyers call in a crisis? With over 20 years’ experience in the legal PR industry, Gus Sellitto is well known for both defending and promoting the reputations of UK and global law firms and their clients. We spoke to Sellitto to find out more… Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Reputation management – who to call in a crisis”

SRA attempts to prosecute A&O lawyer over controversial Weinstein gagging deal

SRA attempts to prosecute A&O lawyer over controversial Weinstein gagging deal

An Allen & Overy (A&O) solicitor has been recommended for prosecution by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) over a controversial non-disclosure agreement (NDA) drafted for film producer Harvey Weinstein.

SRA chief executive Paul Philip confirmed today (3 April) that it aims to prosecute an unnamed lawyer from the firm, and is awaiting confirmation from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) as to whether the prosecution will proceed. Such considerations from the SDT tend to not take longer than six months. Continue reading “SRA attempts to prosecute A&O lawyer over controversial Weinstein gagging deal”

‘Not adequately protected’: Junior lawyers demand SRA response on concerns over toxic working conditions

‘Not adequately protected’: Junior lawyers demand SRA response on concerns over toxic working conditions

Junior lawyers have penned a letter to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) demanding clarification on the protection available to junior lawyers who are subject to ‘toxic’ work environments.

The letter, published yesterday (13 February) by the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division (JLD), cited concerns around rulings from the High Court and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal that struck off junior solicitors who were subsequently found to be working under difficult conditions. Continue reading “‘Not adequately protected’: Junior lawyers demand SRA response on concerns over toxic working conditions”