How it felt v how it looked.

A junior lawyer at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has been suspended after he was accused of using racialised insults against a colleague and trying to beat him up.

The lawyer, whom RollOnFriday is not identifying, confronted an associate of Asian heritage at a Simpson Thacher work social event and called him 'General Chan', said sources*, before ripping off his own shirt and challenging the solicitor to a fight.

The junior lawyer's peers at the firm "are shocked that [he] took his top off and tried to fight the associate", said an insider, especially because he appeared to be a "normal, hard working" lawyer, "who was on the cusp of becoming an STB associate". Drink is understood to have been consumed at the event.

The lawyer has been suspended while the firm investigates. A spokesperson for STB said, "While Simpson Thacher does not comment on the details of personnel matters, the Firm takes any allegations of misconduct seriously".

Chest-beating by officers of the court is not unknown, as demonstrated by this law firm's macho site, but friction between colleagues usually stops at an angry email. Lawyer-on-lawyer violence is not completely unknown, however: last year a leading Irish defence lawyer pleaded guilty to battering a former colleague, and in 2014 a US judge strangled a public defender in court

*not the actual General cited.

Tip Off ROF


Round one 09 September 22 10:10

Reminds me of a bust up in my former firm, CC. The head of [redacted] (former army officer) exchanged insults with a newly made up partner from [redacted] (6 feet 2, former athlete). They literally ended up in a bare knuckles fist fight in the corridor in the Upper Bank Street office that lasted a good few minutes. No kicking or biting and no shouting or tears, it was very professional. Word on the street was that the young upstart bettered the older guy by finishing up with a throat hold against the wall, but it was was close and neither were disgraced with their brawling skills. The younger partner was shipped off to [redacted] soon after, where he still proudly serves the firm. 

Anon 09 September 22 10:34

A fight was brewing at the NRF summer party post Fulbright merger, party being held in the main atrium, America themed, full dance floor, so before it all went to hell. From memory a dance contest got heated and spilled out into a nicely simmering square-off. It really really needed someone to rip their shirt off and get stuck into it so 7 floors peering down could have started chanting and screaming like the colosseum. Instead it fizzed out, properly wet and a trainee in corporate stacked it breaking his collarbone. I think a vac schemer also got with an associate and was on the spot offered a training contract. 

Anon 09 September 22 13:03

The racist comment will probably (rightly) get this guy fired, but otherwise he seems to be indicating he is ready for partnership.  Coming from law firms in the antipodes, it was unusual for a partnership conference not to result in at a few least fights breaking out, and the same applies since I have been a partner in an international firm in Asia.

Employment Lawyer 09 September 22 14:49

Racism has no place in law. He should be fired and banned from the legal profession. Simpson Thacher needs to set up and do more in tackling racism. Why does their London office not have more Black/Indian/Pakistani heritage lawyers...?

Anon. 09 September 22 15:20

Two (senior) associates had a fisticuffs at a Christmas party pre-COVID over a (fairly hot) trainee.  The incident was reported to HR, and HR issued a written warning to each of them and asked them to execute a short form mutual release against each other and the firm. Gold. 

Anon 09 September 22 15:38

He should not be allowed to enter the legal profession. They made the right decision to suspend him. If he is displaying violence and loss of control so early on at work, in front of colleagues, I can only imagine how he acts in his private life...The legal profession needs to uphold its reputation as does the firm in this case. 

Anonymous 10 September 22 09:06

I used to wallop male trainees and juniors around when they made mistakes (which was pretty frequently).

it was good for them 

Gobblepig 10 September 22 09:31

@Anon. 09 September 22 15:20. Sounds like they both really needed a, uh, short-form mutual release. 

Simple Thatcher Ballers 10 September 22 14:54

The racist criticisms are unwarranted as there are indeed many “General Chan” at STB (over two dozens). Our firm is demonstrably more diverse than our competitors and the culture is reasonably inclusive. 

The suspension was a result of the berk’s desire to pick a fight with another associate rather than his lame choice of words. He was told to stop at the time, but his enthusiasm for intimidating his adversary remained unabated. 

Anonymous 10 September 22 15:06

Drink?  And Gak maybe?

Drink has prematurely ended many a promising career.  I know some say that it brings out what is already there.  But if it only comes out in drink and otherwise no-one would know then the career wouldn't be ended and no harm would be done.

After all, people don't get sacked for their thoughts, it's their words and actions that do for them.

Let this be a lesson boys and girls - one drink maximum at work events, and if you can't have just one then don't have any.

Simson Twacher? 10 September 22 21:58

General Chan is a new one for me. Sounds lame though, I wonder if its just sloppy journalism and he actually said General ‘Chiang’ which was a compliment and perhaps an admission of a secret and repressed man-crush?  I bet much more is going on over there than HR let slip out. Comes with the territory I suppose, desperate to out-Kirkland K$E.

AbsurdinessBrown 11 September 22 04:34

...and that's when the firm's partners realised they realised they had mistakenly placed a litigator in a commercial team. 

Dave 12 September 22 16:09

How much of it do you think he remembered the next day..?

Deserves to get the 'tic tac' for his comments certainly....

Anonymous 13 September 22 11:55

He probably hated it there and couldn't bring himself to resign so ended up getting nissed and doing something daft.


Might be time to look at a different career path.

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