Baker & McKenzie has sent its General Counsel to intervene in a spat between two partners who are no longer on speaking terms.

An insider said the disagreement began when one, 'Haddock', disagreed with the management style of the other, 'Castafiore'. Insiders said Haddock accused Castafiore of 'moral harassment', a French term describing workplace bullying. Another source said that Haddock did not make a formal complaint. Relations between the two partners became increasingly strained until last year Haddock snapped and started working from home.

    Hope they can work it out. 

After RollOnFriday reported that a senior partner at Bakers sexually harassed a junior lawyer, the firm has been on a mission, said an insider, to tackle festering interpersonal issues. As a result, this week Baker McKenzie's general counsel is flying out to the Belgium office to mediate between Haddock and Castafiore. "It seems that the firm finally takes things a little more seriously", said a source.

A spokesman told RollOnFriday, "As a Firm, we do not tolerate harassment or bullying of any kind and have strict procedures in place to uphold the highest conduct standards. We do not comment on internal personnel matters".

Remember: if you are rowing with your flatmate, can't stand a neighbour or have issues with your mum, ask your firm's GC to flip hate into hugs.
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Comments

Anonymous 29 June 18 13:01

It is a story. Partners acting like children create an unpleasant and unprofessional environment for their colleagues. My secretary tells me that two partners at her former firm would shout insults at each other across the open plan secretarial area. RoF are right to call Bakers out.

Anonymous 29 June 18 21:23

Some form of mediation is usually the best way to resolve this type of thing, indeed most allegations of bullying and harassment. It can be done by senior management or by a good external mediator, but nor by HR, who aren't usually honest brokers in workplace conflicts, especially regarding gender related issues. The important thing is getting the two parties to sit down face to face and discuss their problems and for the mediator to get to the bottom of what has actually happened and find a way forward.

Anonymous 30 June 18 11:41

@29/06 23:45 - actually, its always been the case that the vast majority of mediations involve face to face meetings between the parties, without this its difficult to see how the process can be described as mediation. By definition, mediation is a non-confrontational process.

Anonymous 04 July 18 09:40

No it was not sarcasm. If you lack the EQ to understand the dynamics such a situation then you should reconsider how you have been going about things.

Anonymous 04 July 18 16:40

Mediations do involve face to face meetings sometimes although sometimes emotions are so high that it would not be sensible. In most commercial disputes, there is a plenary session where the parties and their lawyers sit round a table and go through the issues.

Anonymous 05 July 18 22:26

@04/07 15:40 - the vast majority of mediations involve face to face meetings, commercial disputes generally progress along the lines you describe. Its always sensible for the parties to meet face to face as part of the mediation process, but where emotions are involved it might make the process longer if the mediator needs to provide reassurance to one or both parties about the face to face meetings. This is where the skill of the mediator comes into play. Without face to face meetings, the process can't really be described as mediation.
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