Baker McKenzie has issued an apology over the way in which it handled a sexual misconduct complaint made by an associate several years ago.
An associate alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a Bakers partner, before receiving a pay-out from the firm and being asked to enter into a confidentially agreement before her departure. The news was first reported on RollonFriday last week.
The partner at the centre of the allegations is no longer in the London office and is set to leave the firm.
Today, Bakers also confirmed it would commission an independent review of the incident and how it was subsequently handled by the firm.
A spokesperson for the firm said: “We are in dialogue with the SRA on this matter. As a firm, our values of inclusion and diversity are extremely important to us and we are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all employees. That is why we are commissioning an independent review of this particular incident and how it was subsequently handled by the firm.
“The review will also consider how we handle complaints of sexual misconduct and other inappropriate behaviour toward colleagues, to ensure we are guaranteeing the protection of our employees.
“We are really sorry this incident ever happened and we acknowledge we should have handled it better.”
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has not launched a formal investigation of the matter.
Over a fortnight ago, Dentons also announced it was launching an investigation into the behaviour of a legacy Maclay Murray & Spens partner, after female employees flagged alleged inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Dentons suspended the partner pending the outcome of the investigation.