Slaughter and May has banned work ski trips after a female lawyer accused a male lawyer of sexual harassment on a firm skiing break.
The male lawyer (let’s call him the inappropriate snowman) allegedly sent the female lawyer a series of sexual texts during the firm-subsidised getaway. The female lawyer also refused to share a hotel room with the randy snowman following an apres-ski drinking session, according to The Telegraph.
The alleged victim complained to the firm, which resulted in the snowman being moved to another team. The accused lawyer has now left Slaughter and May and moved to another City firm. The female associate remains at the firm. Both lawyers are mid-level associates.
The inept courtship. How it might have looked.
When the allegations were made, the elite Magic Circle firm was already carrying out a risk assessment on behaviour that included social events. The review concluded that staff ski trips ("partner-funded booze affairs" as described by a source to RollOnFriday) were high risk and should be scrapped. Other firms have had to cancel ski holidays for less racy reasons.
Slaughter and May's ski ban is "part of a general directive...to protect the firm against becoming embroiled in a scandal" a source told RollOnFriday. This was also evidenced in some "very tame" group Christmas parties at the firm, according to the source, where (with all the celebratory joy of an Amish funeral) some male partners abstained from drinking and "refused to dance". The source added that "other groups are carrying on as they were, so it's very much a team by team approach".
Firms have been cracking down on the behaviour of its lawyers at boozy events, particularly after partners were found to have acted inappropriately at drinks events at Freshfields and Baker McKenzie. Recent measures at City firms to keep staff in check include fines at Freshfields and launching the sober police at Linklaters.
A spokesman for Slaughter and May declined to comment.