Russel McVeagh promises no tolerance on staff misconduct

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Auckland, February 26, 2018

Following is a Statement issued by Gary McDiarmid, Chief Executive of law firm Russel McVeagh over the weekend.
Over the past 20 years, there have 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.

Formal complaint needed

For a full formal investigation to be initiated we require a formal complaint to be made so that privacy laws are not breached.

This has limited our ability to prove the alleged misconduct.

When allegations of any sort have been made we have taken action.

If proven, we have taken action appropriate to the severity of the misconduct.

In some cases, this has resulted in termination of employment or a partner departing, regardless of their seniority.

Rumours and chats

There will no doubt be rumours or online chat about other supposed events in the past that either weren’t known about at the time by management or were alleged and not proven or were not the subject of formal complaints.

We are unable to comment on events that may or may not have happened in such circumstances.

We reiterate our commitment to having a culture of zero tolerance of any sexual harassment and have committed to an external review of the serious events of 2015-2016 to assist with enabling us to better achieve this.

We expect this review to include an examination of Russell McVeagh’s culture and how complaints are dealt with.

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