snow hill

Wrong 'un: dispatched.


A lawyer has left Travers Smith after he was found to have conducted himself inappropriately.

The firm held an emergency all-staff meeting this week, an insider told RollOnFriday, at which it was announced that an associate had been suspended and then resigned.

A source referred to multiple incidents of a specific nature, however the firm declined to confirm the information was accurate and RollOnFriday has been unable to corroborate it (write in if you know more)

In a statement provided to RollOnFriday, Travers explained that it had immediately suspended an associate after allegations were made against him, and commissioned a KC to undertake "an independent and thorough" investigation. 

The probe found that "inappropriate conduct" took place, and following its conclusion "the associate left the firm", said Travers. 

"As in this case, we take all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously", said the firm. "To preserve the privacy and confidentiality of those involved, it would be inappropriate for the firm to make any further comment".

Travers' desire to protect its people was also seen in 2018, when it directed them to use a phrase - 'That's not cool' - if they were offended by something a colleague was saying. 

Tip Off ROF

Comments

Anon 23 September 22 09:02

I mean, inappropriate conduct could mean absolutely anything, from sexually harassing colleagues to getting smashed at client events and insulting them…so not really a helpful story is it?

Anon 23 September 22 09:08

Not much of a story here ROF. An associate has left the firm, but we don’t know why….is it a quiet week?

Basil 23 September 22 09:27

Nice to see them taking action even if we don't know the details.  If it had have happened at the firm I previously worked at (one of the smaller US outfits in London), a male junior associate who made repeated and graphic sexual comments about female staff would have been briefly suspended, allowed to stay on in a team with those female staff, allowed to falsely accuse them (while crying) of bullying him when they ignored him, inflate his hours by adding non-existent time to matters to obtain a bonus and then leave to another firm without anyone there being the wiser.  The female associate who reported him eventually herself left the firm, the bullying investigation - in which she was cleared - being a big part of that decision. 

@9.02 23 September 22 09:48

You don't instruct a KC to undertake "an independent and thorough" investigation for someone getting smashed and telling a client they're a knob. While this is currently a bit of a non-story, wind your neck in. 

@09:48 23 September 22 09:54

Oh my neck is fine where it is thank you very much. Appreciate the concern though!

Anonymous 23 September 22 09:57

This is actually a GOOD news story IMHO - Travers Smith doing the right thing by engaging a KC to conduct a meaningful investigation. At my firm, allegations against two members of the six-person Board are currently being investigated. After discussing the allegations, the Board decided to have an "independent" investigation conducted by another member of the same six-person Board who had just discussed the allegations (remember how well that worked out for Gary Senior and Bakers). 

Anonymous 23 September 22 10:02

This is a big story. A top City firm immediately suspends an associate, gets in a KC, the associate is then unceremoniously out on his arse (at least I assume it’s ‘his’…) If RoF is circumspect about the details that’s presumably to avoid identifying the associate. 
 

Good scoop guys. 

Anonymous 23 September 22 10:02

They seek him here

They seek him there

They seek him almost everywhere*

Is he driving a racecar?

Or merely a van?

That social leper, the Question Man.

 

 

*But clearly not at Travers anymore.

Anonymous 23 September 22 10:36

@9:27 and @9:57 wot are you both blathering on about? How can you determine whether this is 'good news' with zero knowledge of the facts?

Travers Trainee 23 September 22 10:37

They finally had enough of the incessant egg breakfast, lunch and dinner buying. Suspect the KC was brought in to determine who was most responsible for the egg smell in the infamous travers egg  obsessed office!

Barnsbury 23 September 22 11:01

When announcing a scoop, is it not also traditional to set out what has happened, rather than just the fact that something has happened?

Anonymous 23 September 22 11:01

@9.57 - although we don't know what the allegations are. What were the allegations at you firm?

Anonymous 23 September 22 11:04

@10.02 - it is a he if you read the article. How do you know its a big story? What are the allegations? How would they identify the associate?

Anonymous 23 September 22 11:06

@10.02 - who seeks him here? who seeks him there? who seeks him everywhere? who is he? Is who driving a racecard? Is who driving a van? Is who a social leper?

Anonymous 23 September 22 11:12

Barnsbury:-what happened is that an associate was chucked for inappropriate conduct. As for what exactly he did, I imagine rof is hoping those in the know drop them a line to corroborate the rumours so they don’t get it wrong and defame him. Patience my man, it’s a process. 

Anon 23 September 22 11:33

What a non-story. If a KC has been involved, there’s clearly been some attempt at a meaningful process in place, the firm has been told so they’re not covering it up, but both ROF and even your “insider” can’t say any more than that, so they’re also not raking anyone’s name through the mud and creating a circus around it. Seems entirely fair all round, good on Travers.

Anon 23 September 22 11:35

Doesn’t this firm have its own Risk team?  What were they doing if not the internal investigation?   It’s their role isn’t it?  Paying leading counsel sounds extremely expensive.  

Anonymous 23 September 22 11:38

11.33, how do you get the impression that rof is bashing travers? Just by reporting it?

Anonymous 23 September 22 11:44

Big Heh at the commenters saying they don’t want to hear news about a travers associate getting sacked. I smell PR people!

Anonymous Anonymous 23 September 22 11:45

 

Any lawyer acting inappropriately gives the legal profession a bad name.

DJcornflake 23 September 22 11:54

As any cult member… err… associate, will tell you, Travers Smith is the greatest law firm in the universe times infinity. I do not believe that it’s management could any wrong. 

Anonymous 23 September 22 12:00

@11.44 - I think commenters are saying they do want to hear the news, but it hasn't been told. PR people would hardly say that!

Anonymous 23 September 22 12:01

https://www.rollonfriday.com/news-content/exclusive-simpson-thacher-lawyer-suspended-shirtless-fight-challenge

Anonymous 23 September 22 12:02

@11.45 - exactly, including those making accusations of inappropriate behaviour without saying what the 'inappropriate behaviour' is. That is in itself inappropriate behaviour.

Anonymous 23 September 22 12:17

"Inappropriate" is so chuffing meaningless. Wearing a red tie to a funeral is inappropriate and nobody died (at least not as a result of the red tie). 

If there is an allegation of harassment, then call it that.

If it is an alleged breach of the Solicitors' conduct rules, call it that.

If it is an allegation of someone bringing a funny mug where the handle is shaped like a "C" which has the letters "unt" after it, call it that.

...that'd be great.

Anonymous 23 September 22 12:25

Wonder if this is the person who has been taking dumps I. The urinals at travers . There was defo a 2nd floor urinal incident of that ilk and rumours of it in the corporate department too.

Anon 23 September 22 12:27

@Anonymous 23 September 22 10:02

Question Man is seeing a psychiatrist. That’s where he is (or should be).

Reply to @10.36 and @11.01 23 September 22 12:34

The allegations are irrelevant. The point is that it's good news (for both the complainant and the alleged wrongdoer) that TS has commissioned a genuinely independent, external investigation to get to the truth of the matter. As we know, many law firms completely fail to do this, hence the reference to the Gary Senior shitshow. 

City 23 September 22 12:44

@Anonymous 23 September 22 10:02

Very funny. And so true. Question Man is such a creepy weirdo.

Anon 23 September 22 12:54

Question Man knows that his questions are made in bad faith. Just don’t engage with him. Treat him like the village drunk who sits in the pub saying nonsense. Ignore.

Anonymous 23 September 22 13:52

@Basil - if we don't know the details we can't possibly know if its nice that they took action or not. It would be interesting to hear the male junior associates side of the story.

Sensible 23 September 22 14:23

Lol at some of these comments. It’s obviously a serious piece of misconduct if it led to (i) an emergency all staff meeting and (ii) the appointment of a KC.

Also lol at the “internal risk” comment. Internal risk teams do conflicts analysis and KYC, they’re don’t act as private detectives or hold enquiries.

Anonymous 23 September 22 14:25

@12.25 - they brought 8n a KC to investigate allegations of people taking dumps in the urinals? Huge if true!

Anonymous 23 September 22 14:46

I'd guess it's financial not sexual or drugs or violent 

You don't need a KC to investigate the sex/drugs/violence stuff 

But some kind of fraud you might want a KC to get ahead of the inevitable questions from clients 

Anonymous 23 September 22 15:57

@12.26 - what repeated, open mockery?

@12.27 - why do you think you are, or should be, seeing a psychiatrist?

Anonymous 23 September 22 16:10

@12.34 - we don't know if its good that there was an independent external investigation without knowing what the allegations are.

Anonymous 23 September 22 16:20

@12.44/@12.54 - what is very funny? what is so true? who is a 'creepy weirdo' and why? why do you think asking what allegations are before deciding they are inappropriate? don't engage with who? treat who like the village drunk who sits in the pub saying nonsense? ignore who? why do you engage with people and tell others not to engage? why do you say ignore and then not ignore?

Anonymous 23 September 22 16:28

@Sensible - we don't know whethet it was serious if we don't know what it was!

Anonymous 23 September 22 16:54

@14.46 - possible, but we don't know without knowing what the allegations are. They may have brought in a KC for a non financial, fairly minor allegation if they wanted to show that they were taking it 'extremely seriously'.

Anon 23 September 22 18:36

@Anonymous 23 September 22 15:57
@Anonymous 23 September 22 16:20

You are so unwell, Question Man. Please see a psychiatrist.

Anon 23 September 22 18:37

Sensible 23 September 22 14:23: exactly. They wouldn’t have hired a KC for anything other than a serious matter. 

Worried 23 September 22 18:48

The post @Anonymous 23 September 22 16:20 is off-the-charts bonkers. Utter lunacy.

Anonymous 23 September 22 23:04

@18.37 - although since we don't know what the allegation was, we don't know if it was serious. 

Scylla 23 September 22 23:55

Serious question for 

Anonymous 23 September 22 12:17

… where do I buy this mug of which you speak?
 

 

‘If it is an allegation of someone bringing a funny mug where the handle is shaped like a "C" which has the letters "unt" after it, call it that.’ 

 

Anon 24 September 22 10:20

Is this a story? Somebody anonymous might have done something bad.

Out there is perhaps the biggest story ROF should cover: the fall-out from the Clydes murder, erm merger, with BLM.

 

 

Anon 24 September 22 14:45

Travers wouldn't have instructed a Silk to undertake an investigation had the matter not been serious.

Dick Whitman 24 September 22 22:58

What’s the point in ROF writing these utterly pointless  articles? They clearly know the substance. Either spill the beans or perhaps stop having a news page?

Anonymous 25 September 22 09:58

Its been reported to the SRA. If the allegations turn out to be true they'll have to publish further details (although they themselves often refer to 'inappropriate comments' without saying what the comments are).

Anonymous 25 September 22 11:48

I'm still trying to understand why they bought a KFC for the investigation.

What's wrong with British Fish 'n' Chips?

Anonymous 25 September 22 12:08

Not just serious though - also requiring proper and auditable investigation.

There are many things that work would consider serious misconduct and instant dismissal.  Not many that require KC investigation.

 

Toby Greenknob - anyone got penicillin? 25 September 22 14:55

There are more questions than answers
Pictures in my mind that will not show
There are more questions than answers
And the more I find out the less I know
Yeah, the more I find out the less I know

I've asked the question time and time again
Why is there so little love among men
But what is life, how do we live
What should we take and how much should we give

Oh, there are more questions than answers
Pictures in my mind that will not show
There are more questions than answers
And the more I find out the less I know
Yeah, the more I find out the less I know

Anonymous 26 September 22 11:17

24th @ 14.45 - they would have if they wanted it to look as if it was being taken seriously. But we don't know if it was serious or not unless we know what the allegation is.

Anon 26 September 22 12:51

@Anon 24 September 22 14:45

Exactly. We know the allegation was serious, or Travers wouldn't have got a KC to look at the matter.

KC 26 September 22 12:54

The obvious inference is that this was a serious matter. Minor matters are not taken seriously, precisely because they are minor. The instruction of a Silk shows this was a serious matter.

Anonymous 26 September 22 13:01

@12.08 - not that auditable if we don't even know what they're investigating.

Anonymous 26 September 22 14:31

@Toby - there are certainly more questions than answers. In fact there don't seem to be many answers at all!

Anonymous 26 September 22 15:03

@09.12 - who said anything about a popsicle? What troupe of travelling jesters? How can you prove that they inserted it that far inside me? Can you be certain that it did not melt entirely before they ran out of handle?

Anonymous 27 September 22 09:18

If someone was suspected of misconduct without witnesses or with only one witness on multiple occasions, that might merit an investigation.

If the same accusation was then repeated by several unconnected people that might lead to a decision begin taken on the balance of probability.

There are such things are grey areas.

Anonymous 27 September 22 11:41

@12.51 - since we don't know what the allegation is, we don't know whether or not it was serious.

Anon 27 September 22 13:14

The firmwide meeting happened on short notice. The nature of the (multiple) allegations was made pretty clear although everyone was asked not to speculate about identities. As they’ve left the firm abruptly, a lot of people worked out who it was rather quickly. It will all get published eventually.

Anonymous 27 September 22 17:48

@KC - that's one inference. Without knowing what the allegation is, we don't know if its the right one.

Anonymous 27 September 22 20:27

Anonymous 26 September 22 13:01

@12.08 - not that auditable if we don't even know what they're investigating.

 

Not auditable by you but no-one cares what you think.  You're just a gawping, rent-a-gob bystander. 

Anonymous 28 September 22 08:17

It's interesting that the associate "left the firm".

Presumably that means s/he was managed out with a pay off rather than sacked for gross misconduct.

I'm betting it was a guy who creeped the hell out of a load of female lawyers and discovered the hard way that women talk to each other and that "me too" has changed things (even if not everywhere and not for some partners).

Mind you, that's largely based on the evocative illustration helpfully provided by RoF.  I bet they have a good idea what happened, they just can't tell us without some kind of confirmation.

Anon 28 September 22 11:46

Anon 28 September 22 08:30: exactly. The only inference is that it was a serious matter.

Anonymous 28 September 22 12:05

@13.14 - what were the allegations? Are you saying they were against more than one person?

Anonymous 28 September 22 13:14

@20.27 - we're all gawping, rent-a-gob bystanders until we know what the allegations are.

Anonymous 28 September 22 16:23

I wonder if KC was involved to avoid being sued or to find out if the case was prosecutable without involving plod.

Or maybe both.

Will be fascinating to find out the details.

Anonymous 28 September 22 16:25

If HR have done what they're paid for the associate will be so traumatised by the whole process that they'll never want to work in law again

Anon 28 September 22 19:48

At least we know the allegations were serious. Hence a KC was instructed to investigate.

Anonymous 28 September 22 20:48

Anonymous 28 September 22 13:14

@20.27 - we're all gawping, rent-a-gob bystanders until we know what the allegations are.

Self-awareness not your tihng hun?

Anonymous 28 September 22 23:15

@8.30 - that's one theory, but we won't know whether or not its true until we know what the allegations are.

Anonymous 28 September 22 23:23

@11.46 - the only inference is that we don't know if it was a serious matter until we know if the allegations were serious. Until we know what the allegations were we don't know if they were serious or not.

Anon 29 September 22 05:07

Anonymous 28 September 22 20:48: Question Man has no self-awareness. Narcissists are incapable of seeing themselves as others see them.

Anon 29 September 22 05:10

@Anon 28 September 22 19:48

Exactly. Travers wouldn’t have instructed a KC to look into the matter unless the allegations were serious.

City 29 September 22 05:12

Hats off to ROF. Great scoop. And although we don’t have the details, at least we know this was a serious matter, as shown by the involvement of the KC in the investigation process.

Anonymous 29 September 22 07:20

@16.23 - exactly, until we know the details everything else is speculation.

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