News | Education
23 Mar 2018 18:21
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  •   Home > News > Education

    Russell McVeagh defends culture again

    Law firm Russell McVeagh is again defending its culture after a social media post about sex, students and a boardroom table.

    Law firm Russell McVeagh is again defending its culture after a social media post alleged university students visiting its premises had sex with staff on the boardroom table.

    The allegation was made in a social media post by Auckland academic Khylee Quince, who said the event happened some years ago and affected the students for some time.

    The post said that after a seminar, the solicitors and students proceeded to drink the firm's bar dry and things got out of control.

    Russell McVeagh issued a statement on Sunday saying during the past 20 years there had been a limited number of allegations of poor behaviour involving consensual sexual events, including on our premises.

    "A social media post has referred to one of these, which occurred more than 10 years ago. Due to the consensual nature of the event, a formal complaint was never made.

    "However, it was investigated fully and those involved were reprimanded."

    On Friday the law firm said it was getting someone in from outside the firm and the legal profession to advise it on culture and diversity issues after allegations of sexual harassment were made by interns.

    Female students at Victoria University were allegedly sexually harassed at social functions during their time with the law firm two years ago.The men involved no longer work at the firm.

    The firm said its board and managing partners had taken significant action to improve workplace culture during the past two years and adopt a zero tolerance policy with regard to sexual harassment.

    Russell McVeagh's website says it is widely regarded as New Zealand's premier law firm.

    The firm employs about 350 staff and partners in Auckland and Wellington offices and acts for 11 of the NZX 15 companies, and New Zealand's major corporates.

    Last week National MP Melissa Lee asked during a parliamentary committee questioning of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment executives if a company "that has had serious sexual misconduct allegations against their employees" was suitable for government contracts.


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