Ted Baker has appointed Herbert Smith Freehills to investigate allegations that the fashion company's boss has been giving unwanted hugs and kisses to his employees.
Herbies will carry out the independent probe following a petition from Ted Baker's staff about the behaviour of Ray Kelvin, the company's founder. The allegations include Kelvin making sexual innuendos, forcing staff to hug him, asking female staff to sit on his knee and requesting to massage their ears. And Kelvin is also accused of stroking employee's necks, which RollOnFriday assumed was just how most people in the fashion world said hello.
Kelvin, who refuses to have his photo taken unless his face is hidden because he's perfectly normal, was also accused of shoving a member of staff against a glass wall in a meeting room when he wasn't invited to that employee's wedding.
Herbies will report its findings to a committee of the company's directors, to be chaired by board member Sharon Baylay. Ted Baker’s chairman David Bernstein said that the investigation would be “professional, impartial and move at pace”.
A spokeswoman for Herbert Smith Freehills confirmed the firm was acting on the case, but did not provide a comment.
Ted Baker's PR team did not respond to a request for comment, as they hide behind the nearest shoe or hat.
Herbies already has some experience in this area, although not as much as some firms.
The difficulty the law firm may face here is that it could feel that it has been brought in to make adverse findings and so might find it difficult to keep an open mind about the allegations.
That was a quick investigation.