Lawyers at Watson, Farley & Williams have been left 'disappointed' by an investigation into a partner's conduct which they believe is a whitewash, according to sources.  

The partner, whom RollOnFriday is not naming and will call 'Frotto', is alleged to have bullied junior male lawyers and been inappropriate with female staff.

Examples of bad behaviour provided to RollOnFriday included "smacking female associates on the bum" and "'accidentally' brushing up against secretaries".

Frotto allegedly made female colleagues uncomfortable by telling them, uninvited, that he "finds them attractive" and asking them if they would "consider a relationship with him". One source accused Frotto of using firm-sponsored away weekend trips as "an opportunity to attempt to dabble with colleagues".


en

Frotto was sure they loved it really.


An insider said Frotto was known to management "as having behavioural issues", but although WFW went “through the motions” of an investigation, it was "so limited in scope as to be entirely useless". They said it was "completely disappointing to the associates who hoped for some sort of justice".

"Why this remains tolerated is a WFW mystery", they said, adding that it left lawyers with the impression that management “has decided to condone his awful behaviour".

In a statement the firm said, "We take all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously and deal with them appropriately”.

RollOnFriday's verdict: let the lift decide.

If you haven't groped unwilling colleagues, take the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2020 survey.

Tip Off ROF

Comments

Seymour Butts 24 November 19 21:15

How many of the posts on this thread are heartfelt and how many are trolling for fun?

It must give an enormous sense of power and connection to the powerless and lonely to post nonsense and get a reaction.

A Strong Woman 24 November 19 21:48

We seriously need to protest about this.  We need some glitter and glue and loads of facepaint.  I know some jugglers.  Does anyone know someone who plays guitar?  Or bongoes?  If we do this right then they'll have to take us seriously.

We'll be like the Remainers of sexual harassment.

Rayne Maker 24 November 19 21:58

I could smack someone on the bottom on Fifth Avenue and still get elected to the Partnership.  

Anonymous 24 November 19 22:45

Yes thanks, 13.32, because like you I know that the statement you quote is true.

There's no such thing as an innocent bystander 24 November 19 23:43

Most of us have sniffed a female colleague's seat or shoes in an empty cublicle when working late, haven't we?

Jesus.  I so hope you are a troll but the really sad thing is that I can imagine certain of my colleagues actually doing this.

Anonymous 25 November 19 08:05

One thing that is remarkable here is that there is absolutely nothing about why it was felt that the investigation was a 'whitewash'. As a result, it gives the appearance that people are complaining just because they didn't get the outcome that they wanted.

Kelvin Dacre 25 November 19 08:52

How long before this story hits the national newspapers with a "Do you know Frotto?  Call us in complete confidence" line at the end?

Looking good for WFW right now.

Anonymous 25 November 19 10:01

What is humiliating for the partnership 24th @ 19.46?

Anonymous 25 November 19 10:15

Do you know many partners who smacked people on the bottom on Fifth Avenue Rayne Maker?

Anonymous 25 November 19 10:19

What I don't understand is why the same muppet in the comments always pops up demanding more evidence and detail.  Who are you demanding this evidence and detail from?  Why are you asking for it?

It's a story on a legal news website, not a tribunal or a trial on which you are sitting in judgement.

Anonymous 25 November 19 10:22

Most of us have sniffed a female colleague's seat or shoes in an empty cublicle when working late, haven't we?

Jesus.  I so hope you are a troll but the really sad thing is that I can imagine certain of my colleagues actually doing this.

See Philip!

Anonymous 25 November 19 10:38

This story and the comments under it bring the whole profession into disrepute.  The whole noxious mess is a perfect demonstration of why there should  be no space in it for sexism, harassment or bullying.  It's more like a Trumpian culture war than a sensible discussion.

Anonymous 25 November 19 11:55

Which comments do you think are attempting to defend the accused or the firm Matey Boy?

Philip Felcher 25 November 19 11:56

See Philip!

No babes.  The whole point is that no-one sees.  Otherwise you end up making the same sort of mess as Frotto.

Anonymous 25 November 19 12:05

@ Anonymous 25 November 19 10:15

Do you know many partners who smacked people on the bottom on Fifth Avenue Rayne Maker?

You are clearly unfamiliar with the work of a certain Mr Donald Trump.

Anonymous 25 November 19 13:08

I think there's quite a lot you don't understand 10.19. It's clearly the people making comments who are being asked for evidence and detail. It's clear that evidence and detail are needed to form a balanced opinion. One needn't be judging a trial to want enough information to form a balanced opinion.

If out of all the comments here you pick on ones asking for details and substantiation then you're mistaken about who the muppet is.

Anonymous 25 November 19 13:10

Agreed, 10.38, the comments by the accusers bring the profession into disrepute and are sexist, harassing and bullying. There should be sensible discussion.

Anonymous 25 November 19 13:11

Oh we see all right Philip. What mess?

Anonymous 25 November 19 13:12

That well-known law firm partner Donal Trump 12.05?

Anon and on 25 November 19 13:39

Perhaps the firm deserves more management - or perhaps new management given the way that this is being handled. 

Disaffected Associate 25 November 19 13:46

28th November is the 6 year anniversary of the last managing partner getting axed ... time for a repeat performance?

Chucky Our Law 25 November 19 14:05

This is one of those things where it's only 3 or 4 people doing all the posts, isn't it.

Anonymous 25 November 19 14:16

@10.19 - given that the intention of some of the comments appears to be to publicly humiliate the accused, get him sacked and impact his mental health, its probably not too much to ask that we're confident the accusations are truthful and accurate (that is, once we've established what they actually are).

Bertie 25 November 19 16:23

Regardless of the what actually happened, I am truly amazed at how badly WFW are dealing with this. 

Seriously, who sanctioned allowing the WFW anonymous person to answer on behalf of the company.  Don't they have any comms people who could do a proper job. 

Do the MP's actually know this person is answering in their behalf?

 

Anon 25 November 19 16:36

If you haven’t established what the allegations ’actually are’ you have carried out even less of an investigation than the article suggests? Utterly shameful. 

Anonymous 25 November 19 16:37

Why would anyone post potentially identifying and/or confidential information?  Certainly not worth it for some internet troll trying to control a narrative for his own reasons.  Looks like the person who pops up on every story about sexual harassment demanding evidence and trying to pretend it doesn't exist.

Shame that Roll On Friday doesn't require people to register and log in before commenting.  Then at least there would be a chance of seeing how many of these posts come from the same person or small group of people.

Below the line comments are one of the great banes of modern life.

 

Anonymous 25 November 19 16:55

Yes, Seymour, unfortunately it's not clear who, if anyone, is heartfelt, and who is trolling for fun. That's the sad thing.

Anonymous 25 November 19 16:57

The accusations would have to be a lot more coherent for the national newspapers to take interest Kelvin.

Anonymous 25 November 19 16:57

Why 13.39? Given the way what is being handled?

Anonymous 25 November 19 17:02

What evidence is there that a Managing Partner was 'axed' 6 years ago Disaffected Associate? Why would there be a 'repeat performance'? Have you been an associate for 6 years?

Anonymous 25 November 19 17:03

3 or 4 is a bit generous Chucky, I'd say more like 1 accuser.

Billy Bumfluff 25 November 19 17:07

This whole comments thread stinks worse than Glastonbury's toilets in 1985.

Didn't WFW get started by people who left another City firm to start their own?  Was it Norton Rose?  Maybe it's time for the pissed off associates to do the same thing.

Classic FM 25 November 19 18:40

Simon Cowell 22 November 19 12:13 - brilliant sir!

Anonymous 25 November 19 19:03

The accusations would have to be a lot more coherent for the national newspapers to take interest Kelvin.

You are clearly unfamiliar with newspapers.

3 or 4 is a bit generous Chucky, I'd say more like 1 accuser.

The way I read it is that it's just you on some sort of crusade where you make multiple posts every week trying to refute news reports about sexual harassment.

Failed lawyer 25 November 19 19:40

@17.02  have you been at WFW for 6 years?  If so you wouldn't ask that question. 

 

Anonymous 25 November 19 19:40

Dealing with what Bertie? What comments do you say you think are from WFW?

Anonymous 25 November 19 19:40

So what are the actual allegations 16.36? Enlighten us.

Anonymous 25 November 19 19:41

The position of the sealion who keeps asking for evidence in all these stories in an attempt to make all women’s claims seem unfounded is slightly undermined by the story above this one, about the ince MP who groped a load of people. It does happen. Sometimes the judgment hasn’t come through yet, sometimes it is buried, but it does happen. 

Anonymous 25 November 19 19:42

Says you who pops up anonymously with a below the line comment 16.37. Which comments say sexual harassment doesn't exist?

Bertie 25 November 19 19:46

Am I right in thinking the same person from WFW is still trying to change everyone's mind?? Good God man, stop posting.

I hope this isn't your day job as you might want to consider finding a new line of work. 

Talk about making a bad situation worse.

Anonymous 25 November 19 19:49

What is brilliant 18.40?

Anonymous 25 November 19 19:52

You read it wrong 19.03. Which posts try to refute allegations of sexual harassment?

National newspapers won't pick up on stories like this - the way the comments have made allegations, many of which are clearly false, make the whole thing look unbelievable.

Anonymous 25 November 19 19:55

But I am asking Failed lawyer. So where is the evidence of the Managing Partner being asked 6 years ago? If you have been there for 6 years has Disaffected Associate been an Associate for 6 years?

Bertie 25 November 19 20:02

@19.40.

Not sure what you are trying to achieve to be honest.  You already appear to have been outed as WFW employee by people who obviously know you, hence the cryptic reference to a Christmas Album or some such thing. 

Just trying to help old boy before you make the situation even worse. 

Future Lawyer 25 November 19 20:32

@anonymous 20:31, no need for crisis management? Over two pages of comments and a pending firm of the year survey. You’ll be taking a step back from duties as quickly as the aforementioned prince.

Anonymous 25 November 19 20:45

The Ince MP groped 3 people, not 'a load of people's - its important not to exaggerate when giving an account of something.

Evidence is always important when deciding whether a disputed accusation is true. Which questions do you say you think are 'an attempt to make all women's claims seem unfounded'?

The Ince case makes the WFW claims no more or less likely to be true, and doesn't undermine any questions over the truthfulness of the complaints. The accusers in the WFW case have been given the opportunity to lay out in detail what their claims are, substantiate them, and show why the initial investigation was unfair. So far they have spectacularly failed to do so. As a result, and because of comments posted by the accusers, the accusations have been greatly undermined and look far less credible than they did when the article was first published.

Anonymous 25 November 19 22:01

Is one of the accusations that he pretended to brush against secretaries but that it was really deliberate? If so, how many times was he alleged to have done this?

Basil 26 November 19 06:15

Message to the associates involved in this.

if the original incidents breach the SRA’s code of conduct and there was a cover up/whitewash then report it to the SRA.its the only way that this firm is ever going to accept responsibility. 
 

Anonymous 26 November 19 07:33

Maybe best for everyone Billy.

Anonymous 26 November 19 08:16

Am I right in thinking the same person from WFW is still trying to change everyone's mind?? Good God man, stop posting.

It's probably not someone from WFW.  Roll On Friday has a persistent troll who comes out every time there is a story about sexual harassment and suggests that since explicit details have not been published the story is false.

Anonymous 26 November 19 08:17

What original incidents Basil? Judging from some of the comments, the SRA is more likely to be interested in some of the accusers than in the firm.

Anonymous 26 November 19 08:37

Bertie - you still haven't said which comments you think are from WFW.

What is a bad situation? Why would knowing what the allegations are make it worse?

Anonymous 26 November 19 08:51

No need for crisis management Future Lawyer. You've had two pages of comments to make your case but have failed to do so. At present the allegations look far less likely than they did a couple of days ago. Well done.

What 'prince'?

Anonymous 26 November 19 09:38

Which comments suggest that since explicit details haven't been provided then the story is false 8.16? Are you saying the story is true?

How is asking what the allegations are 'persistent trolling'?

Anonymous 26 November 19 10:02

At present the allegations look far less likely than they did a couple of days ago.

To whom?

All I see is a strange obsessive with an axe to grind pushing an agenda for his own reasons.

Anonymous 26 November 19 11:23

To anyone reasonable reading them 10.02.

I wouldn't go as far as describing the accuser in that way though!

Anonymous 26 November 19 11:24

So you are saying the many accusations that the comments are being posted by WFW comms are false 8.16?

Anonymous 26 November 19 11:30

What aspects of asking what allegations are and what evidence supports them do you regard as 'strange obsessives with an axe to grind pushing an agenda' 10.02?

Have you ever considered a career in the judiciary?

Asian orchid 26 November 19 11:38

08:51

are you operating in a bubble? Have you followed the news or have you been too busy posting your pointless questions? I suspect it is Prince Andrew that Future Lawyer is referring to. 

Anonymous 26 November 19 15:26

Why do you say you think the questions are pointless Asian Orchid? Do you think evidence is pointless?

Are you saying Future Lawyer thinks Prince Andrew works at WFW?

Ah'm oot 26 November 19 21:13

And suddenly it all makes perfect sense.

https://francesbell.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/sealion-cartoon.png

Followers of chaos out of control 27 November 19 14:44

Either WFW’s crisis response team have been at the Kool Aid or they’ve got professional external comms people in to post  the comments that would appear to be from WFW (the anonymous commenter who is constantly raising questions and asking for evidence). The comments are so off the wall as to be quite clever in distracting and deflecting from the story. It’s quite brilliant. I’m impressed. Unfortunately, the original story can’t be unread.

and Ah’m oot @ 21:13 - thanks for sharing ... it does indeed now make sense

 

Anonymous 27 November 19 15:05

Why does you sending a cartoon mean the allegations suddenly make sense 26th @21.13? It sounds as if you don't believe them any more (if you ever did).

I am Smartypants, no I am Smartypants 27 November 19 16:58

Agree with 14:44, looks professionally done but could be the Kool Aid. My money would be on professional.

Anonymous 27 November 19 19:05

Which comments do you think were by 'professional external comms people's 14.44?

Yes, the accuser's comments are so off the wall that the original story now just looks absurd.

What indeed now makes sense?

Anonymous 27 November 19 19:06

What looks professionally done 16.58?

Anonymous 28 November 19 07:37

Giving how the accuser has chosen to comment when given the chance to explain what their accusations are, 27th @ 14.44, I very much doubt WFW will have seen the need to employ a professional comms person.

Once in a lifetime 28 November 19 09:25

Damn, I lost my bet with Follower; it looks like it was the Kool Aid judging by 19:05,19:06 and 07:37.

That’s a quid I owe you Follower.

Anonymous 28 November 19 11:33

Which comments do you think were sent by WFW comms 9.25?

What are the details of the original allegations?

oldfool 28 November 19 15:01

11.33 let it go, it’s getting embarrassing 

Anonymous 28 November 19 15:39

They accuers' comments aren't getting embarrassing 15.01 - they are embarrassing!

And they have been for a few days now. They've consistently failed to make their case and it now looks as if they have none. They either need to substantiate their allegations or let it go.

The Sapphic Soft Shoe Shuffler 28 November 19 16:16

Oldfool, i agree but I don’t think Anonymous at 11:33 et al can let it go; he (or maybe even she) is addicted to posing the questions that he/she actually knows the answers to. It’s a defence tactic. Best approach is to try to have fun with it, e.g., myself and Followers have got a wager on what pointless questions he/she will ask in response to your comment. There’s a tenner riding on it and it’s better than the telly.

Anonymous 28 November 19 17:20

Thanks for agreeing that the accusers' comments are embarrassing 16.16.

What are the answers you think people asking questions will know?

Why do you think it is pointless to know what the allegations are before passing judgement on them?

Anonymous 28 November 19 18:42

What was the accusers' problem with the investigation? It comes across as if it was the outcome.

The Sapphic Soft Shoe Shuffler 28 November 19 21:04

Thanks Anonymous @ 1720 and 1842. £20 in the bag: £10 for the obtuse questions correctly predicted by me and a bonus £10 for my prediction of the deranged interpretation of my comment at 1616.

Keep it up as it’s keeping my Friday drinks fund in the money.

Meanwhile, the original article can never be unread.

 

There is evidence 29 November 19 04:03

The anon person pops up on every thread and chat relating to inappropriate behaviour by partners repeatedly asking for evidence. In the context of another thread relating to a magic circle group head who had behaved badly (leading to a payoff to a trainee who left the firm) a poster offered evidence to the Anon poster that he was continuing to behave badly as there was a video of said partner acting like a drunk teenager at the Christmas party for his group (and was all over a young female lawyer in front of everyone). Anon declined to provide an email address to receive the video but then just repeatedly asks for evidence like a bot.

Anonymous 29 November 19 07:28

In my minds eye the RoF “evidence” troll is a weird cross between benny hill and colonel mainwaring

 

or a spotty associate who enjoys yanking everyone’s chain.

 

but I prefer the former

Anonymous 29 November 19 08:05

What is an 'evidence troll' 7.28? It sounds as if you think evidence is a bad thing.

Anonymous 29 November 19 08:28

08:05 Thanks for taking the bait. Try to respond without using the words "what bait?"

Anonymous 29 November 19 08:28

Send a link to that thread 4.03 and post a link to your video on it instead of phishing for people's email addresses. If you can't do that it means you don't have any such video.

By bringing up another case with no evidence all you're really saying is that there is no evidence in this case and that the accusers aren't telling the truth.

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