Great britain lawyers regulator has delivered a list of concerns to a freshfields companion over the woman conduct during overview of ubss control of an alleged rape.
Caroline stroud, the uks most powerful work litigation attorneys, is being examined by the solicitors regulation authority. she had been hired by ubs to examine the way the financial institution investigated the grievance associated with alleged prey, a trader who said she had been raped by a colleague.
The case has highlighted the thorny nature of focus on employment investigations that law firms conduct for significant corporations. solicitors are paid because of the organization but must maintain independence and control disputes of interest between the manager, alleged target and alleged perpetrator.
The regulator has grown progressively concerned with the nature of such probes about alleged sexual misconduct into the wake of revelations appearing from the #metoo activity.
The sra exposed a file on ms stroud and an even more junior lawyer just last year after the trader, a graduate recruit known as ms a for appropriate factors, sued ubs for allegedly mishandling her allegation of rape in 2017 and failing to protect her.
Freshfields ended up being employed by andrea orcel, then mind of ubss investment bank, to by themselves investigate in 2018, plus in november of this 12 months found the bank had made no fundamental mistakes in how it managed the complaint.
The regulator is currently probing whether misconduct might have taken place on the basis of the evidence gathered. it offers required a conclusion from ms stroud pertaining to a series of allegations in an explanation with warnings page in july, relating to people near to the matter.
The regulator could decide to drop the examination when it is content with those explanations and locates no misconduct has taken location, impose its very own sanctions including a superb, or send the scenario on solicitors disciplinary tribunal for a full hearing, which eventually has the capacity to strike down lawyers.
Ubs stated it had made clear to ms an it was spending the solicitors costs. but the sra is reviewing issues that ms stroud did not make her part clear to ms a who had no appropriate representation at the time and allegedly told her that she did not act for ubs.
According to a press release finalized by ms as legal group in 2019, ms than obtained assurances that freshfields are not ubss attorneys and were not acting in a legal capacity for, or advising, ubs.
Ms stroud contestsms as accountof that meeting, relating to individuals near to the matter, and stated her remarks had been taken out of framework and effective at becoming misinterpreted. ms stroud statements she stated the woman staff weren't ubss attorneys because they were recently appointed rather than ubss usual advisers.
Ms stroud additionally allegedly neglected to notify ms a that private information she paid as research would-be given to ubs which legal privilege suggested she'd maybe not see the full and final form of the freshfields report.
Freshfields stated: we refute the allegations.
In a statement sent to the financial occasions, ms tha stated: it wouldnt be right for us to touch upon the specifics because possible sra proceedings. but i shall state this training of hired weapons is a really unpleasant and ethically bankrupt corner of this legal industry. i would personally question if the use of solicitors and their particular cloak of legal privilege features any place in independent investigations.
Corinne aldridge, head of employment at kingsley napley, stated: we have seen huge alterations in the way [these probes] were dealt with since 2017. theseriousness with which theregulatornow treats intimate misconduct ensures that theconduct while the independence of this detective has come under significantly more scrutiny than before.
A spokesperson for the sra said: our company is examining before deciding on any after that steps. our run this matter continues, but we cannot talk about any details about our work even though it is ongoing.
Ms a settled the woman claim for intimate harassment, sex discrimination and victimisation with ubs in december after moaning about the woman so-called attacker 3 years ago.
The woman legal group in addition alleged she was subject to a gross violation of privacy by ubs, which she said monitored the woman moves at the office and coerced the disclosure of countless personal communications from pals mobile phones. ms a subsequently kept ubs.
Ubs declined to review.
Additional reporting by stephen morris in london