In its first year, the #MeToo movement had a profound impact on almost every industry, including the legal sector, and has shone a much-needed light on how we deal with sexual harassment in the workplace and in wider society.
The days of quietly brushing sexual harassment under the carpet are finally gone and the media continues to be relentless in exposing the full extent of #MeToo. The FT reported last week a substantial increase in notifications of sexual harassment to the SRA over the last year, and the SRA’s plans to prosecute a significant number of such cases before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and to issue fresh guidance for solicitors on misuse of NDAs and reporting misconduct. Law firms and other regulated professional services firms therefore need to be prepared to respond appropriately in a fast-moving political and regulatory environment.
Please join the Professional Practices Alliance for this breakfast panel of leading partnership, regulatory and criminal law and PR experts for an in-depth discussion into sexual harassment in professional services firms, on:
Date: Tuesday, 12th February, 2019
Location: Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP, 15th Floor, Milton House, Milton Street, London EC2Y 9BH (map)
Registration and breakfast: from 8.00am
Session duration: 8.30 – 10.00am
To register for this event click here.
This breakfast seminar will take the form of a roundtable discussion. Please feel free to send us questions and comments in advance for our experts to address.
Click here to register. Please feel free also to extend this invitation to a colleague who you think may be interested.
This interactive breakfast session will cover a wide range of complex issues relating to reporting, investigating and eradicating sexual harassment in law firms and other professional services practices. Our expert speakers will cover:
• What does sexual harassment typically look like in professional services firms, and what are the common triggers?
• When does sexual harassment amount to criminal conduct and how should firms respond?
• What type of conduct triggers the obligation notify the SRA, how and when should it be notified, and to whom does that obligation extend?
• How can HR ensure law firm senior management buys into the need to investigate?
• What issues cause the biggest problems in investigations, including suspension, confidentiality and anonymity issues, and conflict of evidence?
• What processes, support and protections should be put in place to protect the position and well-being of the victim and the accused?
• How should PR aspects of sexual harassment complaints be addressed? And how should internal communications be effectively managed?
• NDAs – can firms still enter into them, what is now allowed and what changes to settlement agreements should firms be making now?
• How should firms update their LLP agreements to ensure they are able to take appropriate action in sexual harassment and other partner misconduct situations?
• What can firms do to change their workplace culture to eradicate sexual harassment in the future?
Chair: Clare Murray, CM Murray LLP – Clare is Managing Partner of CM Murray LLP and specialises in employment and partnership law. She advises US and UK law firms and their partners on partnership and employment law issues, including on partner conduct and performance issues, partner exits, team moves and restrictive covenants. Clare has advised on many sexual harassment matters in law and other professional services firms, and has extensive experience of representing complainants, firms and also partners accused of alleged harassment. In 2018, Clare was appointed as specialist adviser to the House of Commons Women & Equalities Committee in its Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Inquiry.
Iain Miller, Kingsley Napley LLP – Iain is a Partner specialising in regulatory and public law. He advises law firms and individuals regulated by the SRA on regulatory investigations and disciplinary proceedings, including on sexual harassment allegations against law firm partners. Iain is Chair of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers and sits on the City of London Law Society Professional Rules and Regulation Committee.
Sarah Chilton, CM Murray LLP – Sarah is a Partner specilaising in employment and partnership law. She advises firms and partners on matters with a crossover of both partnership law and employment law issues, in particular LLP disputes with whistleblowing, discrimination or harassment issues. Sarah advises firms on equality and diversity issues, internal investigations and provides specialist partner training on harassment, diversity and conduct issues.
Nick Vamos, Peters & Peters – Nick is a Partner and former Head of Special Crime at the CPS, overseeing the most complex casework in the CPS including the Hillsborough disaster, corporate manslaughter, police corruption, deaths in custody, medical manslaughter and election fraud cases. Nick focusses on high-profile and sensitive matters, including allegations of sexual misconduct against politicians and other individuals in public life.
Gus Sellitto, Byfield Consultancy – Gus is Managing Director of Byfield Consultancy and a leading PR advisor to law firms, with over 20 years’ experience in legal and litigation PR and crisis management. Gus advises law firms on the communication aspects of highly sensitive and often business critical issues. This includes regulatory investigations, criminal and civil proceedings, data breaches and partner and staff misdemeanours. He advises clients on how to communicate in relation to #MeToo – from both a proactive and reactive standpoint, and blends his significant experience in PR with an in-depth knowledge of legal process.
Click here to register. Please feel free also to extend this invitation to any colleague you think may be interested.