Ince has fired its Singapore Managing Partner after a court found him guilty of molesting three women in a bar and repeatedly screaming "fuck you" at a bar manager when he was dragged out.
Devandrun Karunakaran was with two clients in May last year when they entered a bar at around 11pm.
The shipping partner strode up to a woman and proceeded to rub his hands up and down her back and around her waist. When the woman, referred to as 'Ms H', shouted at the lawyer not to touch her, he muttered something incoherent and headed to the upper floor of the venue.
Karunakaran next approached the bar's DJ, 'Ms P', and its marketing officer, 'Ms H'.
"Hey, what's up?" the lawyer asked them, putting one arm on Ms P's shoulder and his other around Ms H's waist.
When the DJ tried to shrug Karunakaran off, he stroked her shoulder and groped her buttocks.
In Ms P's statement to the court, she said that she felt "shocked and violated" and removed her headset and walked away. Ms K also moved away and waved to a colleague for help.
Intervening bar staff told Karunakaran his behaviour was unacceptable and asked him to leave, but instead Ince's top man in Singapore tried to pull Ms K towards him.
When the bar manager told him to get out, Karunakaran retorted, "Fuck you mate, who is the one who said I touched her?" and asked what the manager intended to do about it.
The Managing Partner of Ince Singapore then asked the bar manager if he knew who he was (he did not), before telling him that he was a lawyer and threatening to get him fired.
As he was "escorted" out of the venue with the help of a security officer, Karunakaran screamed "Fuck you mate!" multiple times, before pulling free and running back to the bar.
How it might have looked
Police officers arrested and charged the Ince partner at around 12.20am.
Karunakaran pleaded guilty to three molestation charges and causing distress to the manager with his threatening language. Escaping jail time, he was fined S$15,000.
Very 'approachable', but perhaps not advisable after he's had a skinful.
He has now been fired.
“Following the Singapore Court’s decision, Devandran Karunakaran’s position at Ince has been terminated with immediate effect and he no longer works at the firm", a spokeswoman for the firm told RollOnFriday. "We take the behaviour and ethical conduct of all of the Group’s Partners and staff extremely seriously.”
Ironically, Ince co-hosted an industry seminar just this month on "The importance of professional ethics and personal conduct". The firm's Head of Risk Management and Ethics told the audience that "with the seriousness and prevalence of poor conduct seeming to increase each year" it was important to "update the whole industry on what best practice looks like".
For readers who are unclear, best practice does not look like appointing a lawyer to the position of Managing Partner after he's been charged with molestation, and then having to fire him.