ao1

'Don't worry, it's dark outside so no-one will spot us.'


An Allen & Overy partner* has resigned after he was filmed through a window enjoying the company of a junior colleague.

The lawyer was caught on camera in the Magic Circle firm's London office by a member of the public who was walking through Spitalfields Market.

"Are they...are they..?" asks the stunned pedestrian in the short clip, as his companion jokes, "Are you okay hon?"


ao2

'Matt Hancock? Hold my beer.'


The camera zooms in to show a younger woman embracing the older, white-haired partner, who, in broad daylight, in a glass-fronted office, which opens onto a London market, proceeds to merrily move through the bases while rubbing against her.

"Oh. My. God", remarks the cameraman, who spared audiences the worst of it by slapping a Parental Advisory sticker over the cursed footage before releasing it online. "Watch his hands, look at his hands", mutters his companion.


ao3

'If only those uptight regulatory lawyers could see me now.'


The incident occurred several months ago and has been entertaining WhatsApp groups ever since.

But the cost has been high for the partner, who was not supposed to be in the office at the time, and was definitely not supposed to be in the office breaching social distancing guidelines by fumbling at a youngster, and was absolutely not meant to do it all on Instagram.

Once news of his indiscretion reached the wider partnership, he was permitted to resign.


ao4

'Do you get the feeling we're being watched?' 'Sshhh, it's just the exercise ball.'


His ignorance of the properties of glass recalls the former Hogan Lovells solicitor who was filmed through a window looking at naughty websites, and the woman who chose to void her bowels beside a busy Norwich road by crouching behind a bush, in full view of everyone working in the Mills & Reeve office on the other side of it.

A spokesman for Allen & Overy said, "The video depicts inappropriate workplace conduct which is not in line with our Code of Conduct. The matter has been investigated and addressed in line with the firm’s internal processes”.

*Offending partner is not actually called Alan.


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Comments

Onanymous 13 August 21 09:24

No reason to resign. No reason for any action whatsoever. Man and woman get it on at work. Nothing special and not news.

I'll fix the headline for you: Stupid ***t films people ****ing and posts it online.

Out of interest 13 August 21 09:32

Was she asked to leave too? Doesn't seem to be any suggestion it was not consensual so presumably equality would suggest.....

Wayward Lawyer 13 August 21 09:43

Out of interest: banter aside, that's such a moronic comment about what equality means.  You clearly skipped that class.

Anonymous 13 August 21 10:19

It's very simple. If you are a partner, staff is off limits. Full stop.

Even if they write you adoring poems and say that you are more handsome than Adonis and they want your kids, it's a no-go area. If you somehow are the only octogenarian who non-partner staff members are genuinely attracted to irrespective of the power play, and fall in love with, then that's great. That person can find another firm to work for and you can then play together all you want. Until then, do nothing and keep your hands off them, and push them back if they make moves on you.

Anonymous 13 August 21 10:21

Fired for heavy petting. What a poor effort.

Needs to go out in a blaze of glory. Full on Wolf of Wall Street style, banging away on the board room table.

Anon 13 August 21 10:45

I am more interested in the fact they appear to have co-ordinated outfits. Who wears all white to the office? Will someone think of the risk of stains?! On second thought, maybe don’t. 

Anonymous 13 August 21 10:45

Clearly both parties will have been fired.

A&O said it's 'inappropriate work place conduct'.

I assume that their work place conduct rules don't say that non-partners can have a fumble in the office but partners can't.

It's just bigger news that a partner got sacked for it because life. 

Anonymous 13 August 21 11:09

"if they write you adoring poems and say that you are more handsome than Adonis and they want your kids"

This would be a huge turn-off tbf.

Pro-tip for thirsty associates, partners are not looking for sappy junior school romance - they would much prefer you to dispense with the classical references and amateur verse. Don't even think about leaving an apple on their desk. Stick to scandalously form-fitting attire that barely masquerades as officewear, sultry lip-licking during meetings, and draping yourself suggestively across items of office furniture while in their view. The photocopier is a solid choice if you ever manage to corner them in the printing room. Avoid doing it on the recycling bin.

You should be giving the impression of being the sexual equivalent of a crossbreed between a ravenous tiger, a Lamborghini, and a bondage instructor. It's not the easiest visualisation in the world, but once you see it in your mind's eye then you'll know.

 

 

That is the only advice I'm giving today that I'm not going to charge for. You are welcome.

Anonymous 13 August 21 11:50

I onc3 went through 4 of the office in 12 months and considered myself a legend.

I wasn't.

I was a deeply unhappy senior associate with nothing to lose. 

Anonymous 13 August 21 12:15

"I was a deeply unhappy senior associate with nothing to lose."

Well I for one am just glad to hear that the fourth one finally cheered you up.

 

It's a numbers game. The Dalai Llama said it himself.

 

 

 

(Alternative punchlines included: You think you were unhappy? You should have heard the other four.)

A&Oer 13 August 21 12:27

The firm completely botched this.  The video was circulated among a small group of people ages ago - months ago.  I saw it but not many people did. Most people laughed then forgot about it.

The managing partner in all his infinite wisdom then, months later, emails ALL STAFF saying there had been a salacious video and to not circulate it.  Of course, this was news to basically everyone at the firm and so everyone then wanted to see it, and circulation ramped up.  Think the A&O leadership has a lot to answer for here.  Really unimpressive handling (not saying the partner shouldn’t be sanctioned, but that email was moronic). 

 

 

Anonymous 13 August 21 12:51

@12:15 - you're one of those types who thinks they're clever and funny when everyone else thinks you're a k**b.

A 13 August 21 12:54

What part of the code did he breach? I don’t understand why partners can’t date staff, as long as they are not direct bosses.  Certainly at A&O half the firm seems to be sleeping with each other…

Anonymous 13 August 21 13:12

"@12:15 - you're one of those types who thinks they're clever and funny when everyone else thinks you're a k**b."

Whereas you sound happy, well adjusted, and a joy to all who meet you...

Anon 13 August 21 13:26

Was also in the office of the Partner in charge of Graduate Recruitment, even though it wasn’t that person. Dude must be mad. 

?! 13 August 21 13:31

Why are people defending this conduct? 

The offices are well known to be A&O, they are doing it in a first floor office (that does not belong to either of them) in full view of anyone in the surrounding area given it was 9pm and still light and if you watch the video you can see that he has his hands inside her pants. 

The fact it’s a Partner just shows on top of their combined stupidity that he is also abusing his power. And whilst he’s definitely not the only partner at A&O doing so, he is the only one that’s stupid enough to do it in circumstances like these that bring the entire firm into disrepute. 

This makes me embarrassed to work for the firm to be honest. 

Question Man 13 August 21 13:43

What evidence is there that he was abusing his power over her rather than her abusing her power over him?

Is there any proof that this conduct took place on the first floor?

Are you able to demonstrate to my satisfaction that the entire episode was not fabricated using a combination of readily available Tik-Tok filters layered over an otherwise unremarkable shot of an empty office?

 

Lolz 13 August 21 13:54

Ahh, partners.  In my shop one of the partners got an associate pregnant via a three-way also involving his wife and, when the (female) managing partner told him to keep it in his pants, she (MP) was forced out.  

Question Woman 13 August 21 14:02

@13.43 - correct, there is a mutual power imbalance. However, as it was consensual it is none of our business and the person who comes out of it looking bad is the person filming.

Glad you realise the importance of evidence though!

Anonymous 13 August 21 14:03

@Lolz - in what way was she forced out? Why did she tell him to 'keep it in his pants'? Surely none of her business.

Anonymous 13 August 21 14:05

?! - defending the partner or the junior? What power imbalance? Its really important not to let jealousy cloud our judge6in cases like this.

?! 13 August 21 14:13

@14:05 - defending the Partner or that the whole thing is fine or really not a big deal. See 9:24 and 10:21 etc  

Who exactly is jealous? 😂 I know exactly what the power imbalance is and their marital statuses. I’m not jealous of either of them - I’d feel sorry for them if they weren’t so stupid. 

Lolz 13 August 21 14:16

@Anonymous 13 August 21 14:03

Some people take the view, and as a woman who's worked in law for quite a while, I do too, that power imbalances in offices can be exploited.  Not always of course, but they can be.  

And as a general comment about law firms, someone who behaves, in lots of ways, as if the rules don't apply to them, but who is also the relationship partner for very many clients, can exert influence in a partnership such that that the position of someone attempting to manage them becomes essentially untenable.

Anonymous 13 August 21 14:17

@ Lolz 13 August 21 13:54

That hero deserves your respect. He deserves at least 100 lad points. Legend.

?! 13 August 21 14:24

@14:02 if it was in private and/or in a place unconnected to the office, I agree. They made it the firm’s and its employees’ business by doing it at the firm, in front of an external facing office with a floor to ceiling window, in daylight. 

Anonymous 13 August 21 15:46

Ahem, 11.09. I was just bending over to pick up some documents and now I seem to be, well, stuck. Do you think you might come over here and help?

 

Will Bilalot 13 August 21 16:59

Was All Bar One closed that eve?! Now we know why certain partners want the Assssociates back in the office yesterday...

Anon 13 August 21 17:16

Question Woman 13 August 21 14:02: evidence is very important. Bad faith questioning is as pernicious as it is tedious.

Lord Lester 13 August 21 18:02

He should look on the bright side. When I engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviour, I was voted out of the House of Lords. He has only been asked to leave a law firm!

Lord Lester 13 August 21 18:34

Though I should of course add that I was subsequently cleared, unequivocally and with a full apology, of all wrongdoing by the BSB.

Anonymous 13 August 21 18:58

@Lolz - remember the power imbalance is mutual though. A junior behaving as if thd rules don't apply to them is also difficult to manage.

Lord Lester 13 August 21 19:46

It has just been pointed out to me that I was not cleared of wrongdoing by the BSB, whether unequivocally or at all, nor they did they apologise to me. I was cleared to practise, which is different. The corrective article in the Times made this clear: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/corrections-and-clarifications-lqz3n72pw:

'The headline to our article “Lord Lester cleared of peerage-for-sex claims” (News, last week) incorrectly suggested, when read alone, that Ms Jasvinder Sanghera’s complaint to the House of Lords about Lord Lester’s conduct may have been dismissed. The article reported on the outcome of an investigation into Lord Lester by the Bar Standards Board. The findings of an earlier House of Lords committee are unaffected by this ruling. We apologise for any distress caused."'

 

 

Anonymous 13 August 21 20:30

@City - LOL is indeed spot on that there are power imbalances, both with men over women, and women over men.

She isn't spot on about the rules not applying because there are no rules stopping partners dating juniors - if there was there would be a lot of disappointed juniors.

Anonymous 13 August 21 20:35

?! @14.13 - people who work together having a consensual relationship isn't a big deal as far as work goes. It is wrong if either or both are involved in relationships, but its not for the firm to police.

Unfortunately a lot of the criticism directed towards people in cases like this does arise out of jealousy. You may not be jealous, but a lot of people doing the criticising will be.

Criticism would be best directed at the person filming it all and circulating it. That sounds 'creepy'.

Anon 13 August 21 21:07

Anonymous 13 August 21 20:26: remember that the power imbalance isn’t mutual as the partner has more power over the non-partner. 

Anonymous 14 August 21 07:01

@20.04 - the comments are generally supportive of the partner. The comments aren't going well for the person bringing up Lord Lester every week. This is disrespect to him and his family.

Anonymous 14 August 21 07:04

@20.08 - 10.19's comments sum up her views perfectly. However, they aren't everyone's views and what consenting adults do is none of our business. Jalousy, prudishness, or whatever other reason doesn't give us the right to tell consentinv adults who to sleep with and who not to sleep with.

Anonymous 14 August 21 07:05

@21.07 - remember that the power imbalance is mutual as the non-partner also has power over the partner.

Anonymous 14 August 21 07:07

@21.14 - we don't know if the parties are engaged or married. Some people are jealous when partners sleep with juniors, especially where the partner is male. That is why they want the partner punished/sacked.

Anonymous 14 August 21 07:27

Likewise, the junior colleague was presumably not supposed to be in the office at the time, and was definitely not supposed to be in the office breaching social distancing guidelines by fumbling at an oldster, and was absolutely not meant to do it all on Instagram. Although in fairness to both they didn't do it on Instagram, other people did.

Anon 14 August 21 08:04

Anonymous 14 August 21 07:04: Thank you for agreeing that Anonymous 13 August 21 10:19 sums it up perfectly.

Anon 14 August 21 08:06

Anonymous 14 August 21 07:05: Thank you for agreeing that the power imbalance isn’t mutual as the partner has more power over the non-partner. 

Anon 14 August 21 08:08

Anonymous 14 August 21 07:06: Thank you for agreeing that there are rules at A&O stopping partners from dating juniors.

Anon 14 August 21 08:09

Anonymous 14 August 21 07:07: people want the partner sacked because it was inappropriate for him to have sex with a junior colleague in the office.

Observation 14 August 21 10:29

There is a serious point to be made here. I had never heard of Lord Lester before, but I looked him up. It is clear that his abusive behaviour was a cry for help. He was evidently hugely unhappy. This is not to excuse his awful behaviour. It serves to explain it. So with this A&O partner. He was obviously in a very sad place. That is why he chose to act not only so wrongly but so recklessly and destructively. Both Lester and this guy were in the law. As a profession, more needs to be done to deal with mental health problems.

Anonymous 14 August 21 11:06

C’mon. He was clearly just pissed and randy after a long lunch with a pretty colleague and they decided to get a bit handsy. It appears entirely consensual. Wot a Laddington Bear. 
 

Probably not v clever to do so in front of a 1st floor window with all the lights on tbf. But then he had the horn, so other things on his mind. 

Anon 14 August 21 12:34

What was said by Observation 14 August 21 10:29 is one of the more intelligent and reflective things I’ve read on a RoF commentary in a long while. Reckless and self-destructive behaviour of sort exhibited by the partner here is very sad, and doubtless arose from the obscene pressures of life in the law. Others resort to excessive drinking and the like. 

Anon 14 August 21 16:56

Why all the fuss? Two people getting amorous. Close the blinds next time. All this talk about partner influence - those days are long gone. It takes two to tango. 

Anon 14 August 21 18:14

Observation 14 August 21 10:29 and Anon 14 August 21 12:34: so true. The profession needs to do more to help people before they behave like this. So destructive.

Anon 14 August 21 18:24

Anonymous 14 August 21 17:03: Lester was found to have abused his position by offering a corrupt inducement - to sleep with him in exchange for a peerage. 

Anon 14 August 21 20:12

So we had the head of Pro Bono doing the Weinstein NDA (and kept that role despite it becoming public knowledge and the SRA wanting to look into it) and now the recently appointed figurehead. Need I also mention that A&O is a Times top 50 employer for women?! Such a great place to work…

Anon 14 August 21 21:17

For everyone saying both parties ( partner and associate) were not married or engaged.... they indeed were!!

Anonymous 14 August 21 23:47

@20.12 - are you saying they aren't a great employer for women? This woman seemed to be enjoying herself.

Anonymous 14 August 21 23:54

@21.17 - nobody said they weren't married or engaged. We don't know if they were or not, but even if they were it isn't relevant in terms of professional misconduct.

Anon 15 August 21 06:06

As the spokesman for A&O said: “The video depicts inappropriate workplace conduct which is not in line with our Code of Conduct.”

Anonymous 15 August 21 07:49

@14th 8.04 - you're welcome for agreeing that 10.19's comments sum up her views perfectly. However, they aren't everyone's views and what consenting adults do is none of our business. Jealousy, prudishness, or whatever other reason doesn't give us the right to tell consentinv adults who to sleep with and who not to sleep with.

Anonymous 15 August 21 07:51

@14th 8.06 - you're welcome for agreeing to remember that the power imbalance is mutual as the non-partner also has power over the partner.

Anonymous 15 August 21 07:52

@14th 8.08 - you're welcome for agreeing there are no rules at A&O stopping partners from dating juniors.

Anonymous 15 August 21 07:55

@14th 8.09 - sex isn't inappropriate, regardless of whether a colleague is junior or senior. However, Some people are jealous when partners sleep with juniors, especially where the partner is male. That is why they want the male partner punished/sacked but not the female colleague.

Anon 15 August 21 11:01

If I’m honest the female in these photos looks quite older (30ish) and the partner looks bloody ancient 

Anon 15 August 21 13:16

Inapproprate conduct by the partner which rightly resulted in his leaving the firm. As Observation 14 August 21 10:29 said, his behaviour was that of a troubled person. I hope he gets the help he needs.

Anon 15 August 21 14:57

Anonymous 15 August 21 13:21: nothing "telling" in that. It is no more than commonsense. It was the fact that he was having sex in the office, and in a public area of the workplace, which makes his behaviour inapproriate - and indicative of someone who needs help.

Anonymous 15 August 21 16:45

@14.57 - agreed, it is commonsense that consensual sex with a partner isn't inappropriate. Telling that A&O don't say otherwise.

Why do you think that when they were both having sex in the office, and in a public area of the workplace,  he (male) needs help, and she (female) doesn't?

Anonymous 15 August 21 17:26

A&Oer, 13th @ 12.37 - "not saying the partner shouldn’t be sanctioned".

And of course the junior if sanctions are being given out...

Lord Lester 15 August 21 19:49

@Observation - Thank you my good man, you have hit the nail very near to the centre of its flattened head.

The truth is that I am the real victim in all of this.

In more enlightened times people would have recognised the extreme toll my high profile life of success was putting on me. They would, as you have done, placed the blame squarely on my mental health - rather than falsely imagining that it represented any kind of moral failing in my part.

In this day and age I doubt that it would even have made it to the BSB. Which would of course have spared them the trouble of clearing me of all wrongdoing, issuing a public apology and paying my costs out of their own pockets.

Different times, different times...

Anon 16 August 21 06:12

Anonymous 15 August 21 16:45: agreed, it is no more than commonsense that when a partner has sex in the office, and in a public area of the workplace, he is behaving inappropriately - and indicative of someone who needs help.

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