Law firm Russell McVeagh hit with sex allegations

  • 15/02/2018
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A leading New Zealand law firm has been hit with allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour.

Russell McVeagh has confirmed to that "serious allegations" were made by two young women after events at a student law-clerk Christmas party in Wellington more than two years ago.

A third incident was made at El Horno Bar, resulting in a police complaint.

For privacy and legal reasons the incidents cannot be elaborated on, but they involved two older male lawyers, both of whom no longer work for the company. One of the men does, however, occasionally offer his expertise to the firm.

The clerks first approached the firm's human resources department but no resolution was concluded at that meeting, reports.

Victoria University then learned of the incidents, telling it was "extremely disappointed" - adding that Russell McVeagh staff were "genuinely concerned" by the allegations.

"This matter was discussed by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee and the New Zealand Law Deans with a focus on ensuring the safety of future summer clerks working at Russell McVeagh and other workplaces that run summer clerkship programmes," Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University Professor Grant Guilford said.

The university was not involved with resolving the complaints, saying that was a matter for police.

Changes have since been made to the summer internship programme including an alcohol ban and a support helpline.

Of the ten clerks offered full-time jobs following that summer, five women declined.