A Linklaters ex-director of Business Development and Marketing has agreed to keep quiet and destroy documents having previously threatened to reveal behind-the-scenes “incidents” involving women at the firm.
At a hearing on 31 January, Linklaters obtained a temporary injunction limiting what former director Frank Mellish could say to the press. The firm had sought to gag Mellish after he had emailed senior partners on 23 January stating that he intended to share his “impressions” of the “current culture” of the firm in a series of interviews with the press. Mellish, who was on the firm’s executive committee and privy to sensitive information, said the focus of his revelations would be the “ongoing struggle Linklaters has with women in the workplace”.
A High Court judgment dated 18 February has now revealed that the litigation has come to an end. The firm and Mellish agreed a consent order, where the ex-director undertook not to disclose “specified kinds of information” about the firm and also agreed to destroy numerous “confidential documents”. The firm confirmed to RollOnFriday that the documents to be destroyed were Mellish's court application documents, not any files smuggled out of the firm.
Those court documents would have likely contained Mellish's thoughts about the three matters referred to at the injunction hearing in January: the “Munich Incident”, the “NY Settlement” and the “London Settlement”. The Munich matter was almost certainly the disastrous Linklaters Oktoberfest party at which a student was sexually assaulted by a Linklaters partner, “Thomas E”. However, as Mellish will now shred/burn/swallow the documents, the facts of the other two scandals are likely to remain hidden for now.
A RollOnFriday secret agent finds the documents in Mellish's compost heap
So much juicy gossip
A Linklaters spokeswoman told RollOnFriday, “we can confirm that the court has approved an order reached by agreement which, in effect, makes the previous order final and brings these proceedings to an end". She added "we did not take the decision to apply for an injunction lightly. We have a strong, supportive workplace culture and everyone working with us should be able to rely on information shared confidentially with the firm remaining confidential.”